Our Local Office
Our local office in Cumberland, Maryland is an affiliate of BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF AMERICA , a national organization linking more than 200 agencies across the country. For over 100 years, volunteer Big Brothers and Big Sisters have been helping at-risk kids from single-parent homes make the sometimes-difficult transition to adulthood. A cornerstone of BBBS philosophy is that the time and attention an adult mentor gives a child does make a difference in that child's life; each professionally supervised match between a "Big" and "Little" focuses exclusively on the child's needs. Tens of thousands of children across the country already benefit from BBBS services. However, for each child who has a Big Brother or Big Sister, there is another "Little" still waiting for his or her very own "Big".
Presently, BBBS serves 200,000 children across 5,000 communities throughout all 50 states. The mentoring efforts of Big Brothers Big Sisters makes a huge influence on the children it serves, ranging from ages 6 through 18. Research demonstrates that BBBS mentoring helps at-risk youth overcome many of the challenges that they face.
Compelling evidence demonstrate that Little Brothers and Little Sisters are:
- 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs
- 27% less likely to begin using alcohol
- 52% less likely to skip school
- 37% less likely to skip class
- More confident in their schoolwork performance
- Able to get along better with their families
After contacting BBBS, you will be assigned an "Enrollment Specialist" to help you complete the process of enrolling your child or becoming a volunteer. Once matched, BBBS "Match Support Specialist" will assist you in making your match a success.
Match Support Specialist
For more information on Big Brothers Big Sisters contact our office location:
64 Greene Street, Second Floor
Cumberland, MD 21502
News & Events
Big Sister and her ‘Little’ have fond memories of time spent together
50 children on waiting list for adult mentors...read more
CUMBERLAND — Alivia Case was a bashful 7-year-old when she first met her “Big” a decade ago.
From the start, it was a perfect match.
Case and Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer Christa DiUbaldo both loved to read, and they met pretty much every Wednesday — going to the library or out to dinner, watching television (Sponge Bob during those early years), or playing board games such as Monopoly: The Wizard of Oz version.
“The big thing was doing homework,” said DiUbaldo, who works as director of marketing for Allegany College of Maryland and began volunteering for Big Brothers/Big Sisters because she “just wanted to mentor someone.”
“We’ve been through boy-friend breakups, homework meltdowns, the fact that she got her driver’s license,” DiUbaldo said. “We’d go out to the ACM campus and drive around.”
Now 17, Case is no longer that shy little girl. A 2012 graduate of Allegany High School, she’s working full time at McDonald’s, working part time as a color guard instructor for AHS, and preparing to pursue a health care degree at ACM this fall.
Though the busy teenage years kept Case and DiUbaldo from getting together as often, Case said she treasures the friendship and all of the ways it’s helped her to grow up.
“It’s kind of hard — I do miss her,” said Case, her cheeks sparkling with glitter during a break from a daylong color guard rehearsal last week.
“She always knew what to say — she knows me pretty well. She taught me how to help other people, how not to hold grudges, to let things go ... I thought of her as family.”
That’s exactly the kind of relationship the program tries to foster, said Kimi-Scott McGreevy, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Alleghenies.
“Alivia and her Big Sister, they really represent the best that can come from this program,” said McGreevy, who took over as director last spring and is striving to grow the organization locally.
An affiliate of the 100-year-old national organization Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Alleghenies has operated in Cumberland since the late 1980s. Currently, about 40 children ages 6 to 16 are paired with 40 volunteer adult mentors, McGreevy said.
Another 50 children are on a waiting list, she said.
“That is one of the biggest challenges throughout the United States is getting those mentors in the door,” McGreevy said, adding that the organization is always recruiting volunteers, who are vetted through a screening process.
Some adults are hesitant to get involved because they’re not sure what to do with a child — or how they can help, McGreevy said.
“It’s not really about entertaining the child,” she said. “It’s really about doing everyday things.”
If you like to garden, for example, show the child how to garden. One current “Big” is a runner, McGreevy said, and he has helped get his “Little” interested in running. Recently, the “Little” — now 13 — beat the “Big” in a 5K race, she said.
“We work with our mentors so they understand it’s not about coming into the program and spending money on the children,” McGreevy said. “We actually discourage Bigs from spending a lot of money on Littles ... It’s more about the companionship.”
For potential volunteers who want to “get their feet wet,” a Lunch Buddies program that McGreevy is planning to relaunch this fall could be a good starting place. Volunteers commit to mentor a child for one hour a week at school only.
That’s how DiUbaldo got started as a “Big” more than decade ago.
“You would eat your lunch with your buddy for a half hour, then the other half hour you would go to the library or the gym,” she said. “I had the time. I had the interest ... You would be surprised how many of them just want a little attention.”
The time DiUbaldo spent with Case really made a positive difference, said Case’s mother, Arika McMillan, who signed her daughter up for the program.
“Christa really helped her build her self-esteem,” McMillan said. “She taught her a lot about life and school — things that kids won’t always listen to their parents about. But they’ll listen to someone else.”