When you are a middle schooler with community service requirements it can sometimes feel like the older students have snatched up all the volunteer opportunities.

Some middle schools now require ten to 20 hours of community work and secondary students require even more to graduate. That is why mentor charity Big Brothers and Big Sisters (BBBS) decided to open up their upcoming 5K fundraising walk to both middle schoolers and high school students. The walk has the duel purpose of raising much needed funds for the organisation and giving students the chance to earn community service credits.

BBBS is a charity that places young people in need of a little extra attention with caring adult volunteers from the community. The volunteer acts as a friend or “Big” talking with the child, helping them with their homework and taking them on fun excursions such as to movies or to the park.

“I am a parent, and I have noticed that a lot of the community service work being offered is for older high school students,” said Patrina O’Connor-Paynter, Fund Development Marketing Communications Director of BBBS. “Even here at BBBS if we wanted someone to do filing, or answer the phone we would get an older student. Parents call every day asking about possible volunteer work for their middle schoolers. That is why we decided to arrange a fundraising walkathon for both age levels. We might do other events like trashathons in the future.”

The walkathon will start at the BBBS office at Charities House on Point Finger Road in Paget. There will be a warm up activity and then participants will trek into Hamilton, cross the city and return to Charities House. Students who take part will receive two hours of community service. They can pay a $15 donation to walk or they can collect pledges and earn a third community service credit. Teachers and family members are also invited to walk. Water and snacks will be provided.

“We encourage students to wear their school gym uniforms so that we can see the schools that are being represented,” said Ms O’Connor-Paynter. “The money will go to our general operating costs. The financial crunch is really hard for charities right now. We are doing whatever we can to raise funds. We don’t just want to depend on corporate funding or government; we have to diversify our funding avenues.”

The walk will be held this Sunday starting at 3pm at Charities House on Point Finger Road in Paget. For more information contact BBBS at 232-2802 or e-mail bbbs@logic.bm.

 – Article by The Royal Gazette