Agency Updates During COVID-19

While keeping health and safety as our number one priority, the staff at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lehigh Valley will strive to carry out our mission of creating and sustaining one-to-one mentoring relationships, with adaptations in place to remain as effective as possible. We are closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation and keeping abreast of local, state and federal recommendations, and will abide by those directives.

REMOTE-WORKING & ACTIVITIES AT THE MENTORING CENTER

In keeping with recommendations for social distancing, our staff is working remotely but is still available to assist via email and phone. We’ll be intermittently checking voicemails left on our individual office lines. Staff members are taking shifts in the office to retrieve mail and process administrative work.

Visitations at our Mentoring Center are suspended until further notice and no in-person meetings are being held. Drop-in hours for matches at the Center are suspended and the April Littles2B event has been cancelled.

FOR PROSPECTIVE VOLUNTEERS

We will continue to schedule interviews which will be conducted using Zoom video conferencing when possible. The need for mentors is great, so please don’t hesitate to inquire and/or take next steps in the process to become a Big. We are here to work for you and with you.

For new inquiries, please contact Nancy Velazquez at nvelazquez@bbbslv.org or call her cell phone at 610-322-6610 to get started. An online volunteer sign-up form is also available on our website.

FOR FAMILIES LOOKING TO ENROLL A LITTLE

While we will continue to accept new referrals, interviews with children are currently on hold. If you have questions or would like to enroll your child, please contact Natalie Artinger at nartinger@bbbslv.org or fill out our online enrollment form.

FOR CURRENTLY MATCHED BIGS AND LITTLES

Along with the larger community, our young people are facing a lot of disruption right now. It’s important that our youth know they are cared for by many people. Social distancing can lead to social isolation. As such, we’re encouraging matches to stay in touch via ways outlined by your assigned Match Support Specialist. Each mentoring program has specific rules for engagement, so please be sure to check in with your MSS if you have questions.

Community-based Bigs can share stories, learning tools, virtual activities and more via our closed Facebook Group, BIGS OF BBBSLV.

CURRENT STATUS ON INITIAL MATCH MEETINGS

Match Meetings (introductory meetings between newly matched Bigs and Littles) are on hold for now, but we’ll continue to pre-match Bigs, Littles and families to keep the process moving forward. As soon as new matches can meet safely, we will be in contact to schedule a time.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Our fundraising efforts will certainly be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and your support is greatly appreciated at this time. To help sustain our mission, you can make an online gift through our website or via check made payable to BBBSLV and mailed to 41 S. Carlisle Street, Allentown, PA 18109.

For other development-related inquiries, please contact Kimberly Hopkins at khopkins@bbbslv.org or 610-432-8000 x101 to leave a message.

GENERAL INFO

For general agency inquiries or assistance, please email bbbs@bbbslv.org or leave a voicemail at 610-432-8000 and the appropriate staff member will be in touch.

Please follow us on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn) for additional information as it becomes available.

We thank you for your continued support, patience and understanding. We’re in this together and, through the strength of our relationships with one another, we will make it through. #BiggerTogether