Q: What is Big Brothers Big Sisters Amachi Ohio?

A: Big Brothers Big Sisters Amachi Ohio is a one-to-one mentoring program for children who have a parent or parents in prison. In all other respects, Big Brothers Big Sisters Amachi Ohio works the same way as other Big Brothers Big Sisters programs. The children, however, have some special challenges to overcome because they have a parent in prison.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Amachi Ohio serves children throughout Ohio through a collaboration of BBBS agencies. To date, Amachi volunteers have mentored about 3,000 Ohio children. If you are interested in volunteering, start here.

Q: How often does mentoring take place?

A: Amachi mentors (called "Bigs") meet a few times a month with a child (called their "Little"). Please contact us with any questions about volunteer hours and expectations.

Q: How long is a mentor's commitment?

A: We ask that Amachi volunteers commit to at least one year of mentoring. Often Big and Little relationships last much longer than one year as the two form a strong bond.

Q: What do a Big and a Little do together?

A: Anything from going to the movies, a ball game, the park, the library or just hanging out. Or, if you are part of a school-based program, you will meet your Little once a week at the child's school. It's up to you and your Little. Learn more about volunteering.

Q: Is the child's caregiver aware of the child's enrollment?

A: Always. Big Brothers Big Sisters Amachi Ohio only enrolls children with the support and consent of their caregiver.

Q: How do the children benefit?

A: Studies have clearly demonstrated that the Big Brother Big Sister mentoring model has positive effects. In fact children matched to a Big are 46% less likely to start using drugs, 52% less likely to skip school and 64% more confident of their ability to perform their schoolwork. Nearly 85% of the children mentored in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Amachi Ohio program showed improvement in a minimum of 50% of the 21 outcome indicators we measure.

Q: Why is this a good investment for the community?

A: The estimated 7.3 million children in America who have one or more parents under some form of state or federal supervision have special difficulties to overcome. They are America's most at-risk children. The Amachi program was developed to provide them with a different path — by establishing the consistent presence of an additional caring adult.

The benefits to our society and community are substantial. By becoming an Amachi volunteer you are not just saving a child's future but your community's as well.

Q: How does the volunteer process work?

A: If you are interested in more information, you can call us toll-free at 866.892.2447 or volunteer online. Your local Big Brothers Big Sisters Amachi Ohio agency that serves children in your community will contact you. After a background check, volunteers are interviewed and provided with up-front training from Big Brothers Big Sisters. Learn more.

Q: Who are possible volunteers?

A: Our volunteers are as diverse as our children. Mentors include people from service organizations, retirement organizations, faith-based organizations and of course, individuals in the community at large. They all have one thing in common -- wanting to provide friendship to a child who needs some extra support in life.

Q: Are volunteers screened?

A: Yes, volunteers are carefully screened with a background check and interview. Read more about our screening process.

Q: How do I become an Amachi Big Brother or Big Sister?

A: Call toll-free 866.892.2447 or volunteer online.

Q: How do I refer a child to the Big Brothers Big Sisters Amachi Ohio program?

A: If you are a custodial parent/guardian, caregiver, teacher, counselor or a friend to a child of an incarcerated parent and think that child could benefit from Big Brothers Big Sisters Amachi Ohio call 866.892.2447 toll-free or email mpalkowski@bbbscentralohio.org.

The Big Brothers Big Sisters Amachi Ohio office in your area will then contact you.

Q: Where is Amachi, Ohio located?

A: There is no city called Amachi in Ohio. The Big Brothers Big Sisters Amachi Ohio program helps children with incarcerated parents throughout the state of Ohio, through a partnership of Ohio Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies. Call 866.892.2447 toll-free to volunteer or refer a child.

Q: How can I contact my local Big Brothers Big Sisters agency?

A: It's easy. Visit the national Big Brothers Big Sisters website. Type in your ZIP code and you'll find the agency nearest you.

You can make a difference.