June 25, 2007
He is an engaging boy, close to ten years of age. A ball cap turned back on his head, he looks straight into the camera. The poster on the wall brags on the young man. He could be the child of any proud father or mother:
James is well on his way to become a statistic. One we can be proud of.
- 70% less likely to use drugs,
- 27% less likely to start drinking,
- 52% less likely to skip class,
- 64% achieve higher grades,
- Celebrating 100 years, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Donate – Volunteer.
One hundred years of matching children with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, a lot has changed since the day they made the first match. Fifty years ago, when Little Rickie ruled the house on television, and when I jumped rope with kids on the street, I knew few children growing up in single parent homes. In most cases, they were children impacted by death of a parent or, in rare cases, children of divorce.
Today, children raised by single parents are the norm. And for every child without a dad, Big Brothers, Big Sisters works hard recruiting men to fill in the gap.
This is a Herculean task, recruiting enough Big Brothers and Big Sisters to take care of the needing children in America. It sets my mind on fire with questions.
Where are the men who have fathered these children? And if they didn’t stay around to be a Big Father, can we expect them to be a Big Brother?
And for the fathers who have stepped up to the plate to be the fathers they should be, how many more children can they adopt under their wings before they are unable to fly for the weight of the burdens we have placed on them?
The biggest question of all?
Educators around the country are working to instill in young people the notion that the sex that produces children should be saved for the time in their lives when they will be able and willing to marry. Children born into families built on the healthy marriages of Big Fathers and Big Mothers is the most secure way of providing what Big Brothers and Big Sisters are attempting to give.
In one case, Big Brothers, Big Sisters is applauded for their generosity and their efforts to help young boys and girls succeed. They boldly place posters and billboards and recruit donations and volunteers.
In the other case, promoting the benefits of marriage which, if successful, results in Big Fathers and Big Mothers, draws down the wrath of people who denounce this effort to “force your values on me.” Why?
Why are we afraid to recruit Big Fathers through education programs that connect sex, marriage and families as a positive goal? And why do we reject this education at the same time that we laud Big Brothers for recruiting men to fill the void created by the breakdown in social norms for marriage?
Consider the benefits for James of living with his married parents:
- less likely to use drugs,
- less likely to start drinking,
- less likely to skip class, and
- will achieve higher grades.
Celebrate this…thousands of years, families founded on fathers married to mothers. Volunteer your support. James needs you. All children need you.
Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Yes. Better still…
Big Fathers, Big Mothers. Yes!