Big Brothers Big Sisters still provides mentoring amid pandemic | KOB 4

Big Brothers Big Sisters still provides mentoring amid pandemic

Casey Torres
Created: January 13, 2021 02:01 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— January is National Mentoring Month. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central New Mexico are still helping match children with a mentor during the pandemic.

“Right now, more than ever probably, kids need mentors,” said Sebastian Martinez, the advancement manager of the nonprofit.

The pandemic has been especially hard for children.

"They're being isolated from their friends, quite honestly. A lot of them haven't seen their friends. Some of them don't have siblings. There's a huge amount of despair for kids these days,” he said.

Martinez, a mentor of nearly a decade, said face-to-face mentoring has turned mostly virtual.

"For our community based program, we can allow outdoor activities, but they have to be distanced. They have to wear their masks," he explained.

With the current situation nationally, families have been hit hard financially. The nonprofit stepped it up by offering more than a big (mentor) that kids can talk to. They offer resources such as clothes, food, and computers for homework.

However, Martinez said the nonprofit lost about $400,000 in canceled events because of the pandemic. They could use as many donations as possible.

If money is tight, people can donate their time.

"We are always open to people's schedules. Flexible times of mentoring which are really four to six hours a month — which is probably way less than people binge on Netflix,” he said.

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