Try the all-new QuickBooks Online for FREE.  No credit card required.

Volunteer Handbook

Document Sample
Volunteer Handbook Powered By Docstoc
					Volunteer Handbook

                                                                   E XCELLENCE IN MENTORING

  6505 Wilshire Blvd. • Suite 600 • Los Angeles, CA 90048 • 323-761-8675
      s your match begins, and throughout the entire life of your match, we want

A     to THANK YOU! You are stepping forward on a journey where you don’t
      know exactly what will happen, but you are doing this because you care
      for others and you know that there is great reward in life in the
      relationships you develop.

We wish you all the best in your match with your Little Brother or Little Sister.
Have great fun. Take pride in your contribution to the happiness of your Little.
We will be with you, supporting you, throughout your journey.


Margy Feldman
President and CEO


         e would like to thank those following contributors for their great help in
        the preparation and production of this training manual:
 Topic                                           Page
 Welcome                                          3
 General JBBBSLA Information                      4
 Your Role                                        5
 What Will You Do? - Expectations                 6
 How to Get Involved – Enrollment                 7
 How to Create a Partnership with Your
 Little’s Parent/Guardian
 A Top Priority-Child Safety                      9
 JBBBSLA – How We Work With You and
 Your Little
 You Can Make a Difference in the Life of
 a Child
 Stages in the Match                              13
 Strategies for Common Problems                   15
 Supplemental Material                            17-28
    Effective Relationships                       17
    Developmental Stages                          24
    Match Activity Suggestions                    28
    Sample Match Scenarios                        33
    Getting to Know You                           35
 Notes                                            36

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles        -2–
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
Thank you for choosing to make a difference in a child’s life. There are all kinds
of statistics that show what a huge difference a Big Brother or Big Sister can
make in a child’s life, but the numbers are often difficult to associate with real
people and real life situations.

We invite you instead to think back to when you were younger. Who was the
person in your life who made a difference to you? It may have been a neighbor
who taught you a new skill, a cousin who took you to your first ball game, an aunt
or uncle or family friend who taught you how to play catch, ride a bike, fly a kite,
or do your math homework.

These are all magical moments for children that help them develop confidence in
themselves, and caring for the world around them. We all had someone in our
lives other than a parent who made a difference to us. This is what you can do
for a child in our program. It’s so simple—it’s just a matter of making yourself
available on a consistent basis. It’s showing you care. It’s having fun with a
child. It’s listening to them talk about whatever is going on in their life. It’s a
series of small, teachable moments that in the end instill a sense of wonder,
warmth, and magic into a child’s life.

Please feel free to contact your Clinician and/or Match Support Specialist if you
have any questions, comments or suggestions concerning the Program. You
can also reach us at (323) 761-8675. Good luck with your match and with
creating many happy memories.

You are about to become a Big Brother or Big Sister—a friend to a child. And
both your lives will be forever changed by the experience.

We’re happy to have you in the JBBBSLA family.

Margy Feldman

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                               -3–
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
Our Agency
Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles is a private, non-profit agency affiliated
with The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the United Way. We are
governed by a Board of Trustees. In addition, we are a member of Big Brothers Big
Sisters of America and the American Camping Association. Each of these associations
not only advocates for its members, but also sets national standards of practice and

We provide services to children in Los Angeles County through our offices in Central Los
Angeles, West LA, Sherman Oaks, and West Hills. Traditionally, we serve Jewish
children between the ages of 6 and 18.

Our agency offers several different services. The Jewish Big Brother Big
Sister program provides mentors for Jewish boys and girls, ages 6-18.
Jewish volunteers become caring adult friends who may help bridge a gap
in a child’s life.

Arts Buddies and Sports Buddies programs are seasonal non-denominational group-
mentoring programs for all children ages 7-12, including underserved, inner-city children
that enable them to experience positive relationships with peers and adults through the
medium of art or sports.

Camp Max Straus offers a therapeutic recreational camping experience for boys and
girls between the ages of 7-18. Many of these kids are struggling with emotional,
behavioral, and social challenges, and may be ineligible to attend other summer
programs due to their issues or financial hardship.

Established in 1990, our Scholarship program offers financial assistance to motivated
and deserving Little Brothers and Little Sisters who have been matched for at least two
years. Awards are based on the scholars’ needs, ability to succeed and commitment to
community service.

Who are our Littles?
  • Jewish children from our community who would benefit from having a
     positive adult role model
  • Children, ages 6 to 18
  • Children who may need an additional adult friend as a role model due to a
     death in the family, divorce or other circumstances

How do Children come into the program?
Most children in our community-based programs come to us through their parent
or care-giver. We also reach out to involve children through synagogues, youth
service agencies, and other referrals. All children and their parents must want to

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                                   -4–
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
Your Role
      he success of the match friendship depends greatly on the efforts of the

T     Big, the Little, and the Parent. Each one plays an important role in helping
      build a meaningful friendship. The following guidelines are give to Bigs
      and are signed before matching.

What is a “Big”?
It won’t be long before you meet your Little Brother or Little Sister for the first
time. And when you do, it will help for you to understand your role as a Big.

What makes a successful “Big”?
Successful Bigs…
          o Are consistent & dependable
          o Emphasize friendship over changing the behavior of the child
          o Are not authoritarian
          o Decide activities together with Littles
          o Have realistic expectations
          o Are patient
          o Focus on having fun
          o Set boundaries and limits
          o Acknowledge that positive impact on the child comes after the
            relationship is built and does not always seem apparent
          o Put a child’s safety and well-being first

What a “Big” Is Not…
          o   Parent
          o   Financial support
          o   “Taxi” service
          o   Babysitter
          o   Peer Therapist

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                              -5–
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
What Will You Do? - Expectations
          e all had a grownup in our lives other than a parent who made a

W         difference to us. This is what you can do for a child in our program. It’s
          really pretty simple—it’s a matter of making yourself available on a
          consistent basis. It’s showing you care. It’s having fun with a child. It’s
          listening to them talk about whatever is going on in their lives. It’s a
series of small, teachable moments that in the end, make a BIG difference.

Changes in your Little tend to occur slowly. Your Little may not call you or
suggest activities for you to do - this is normal behavior. Often Littles
won’t say “thank you” – but this doesn’t mean they aren’t enjoying the time
with you. It just takes time for the relationship to form.

To make the most of your relationship:

   •   Be a good friend.
   •   Listen, have fun, take time to get to know this new person in your life.
   •   Choose activities that you both enjoy and that will strengthen the bond
       between you.
   •   Don’t set out to impose mandatory changes in the Little. Positive
       behaviors will flow after your Little trusts you and your Little grows more
       secure, not by you declaring mandatory new behaviors.

   •   Be Consistent:
          o Show the child you think your time together is important.

   •   Regularly communicate with your Little, the parents and your
       Clinician and/or Match Support Specialist:
          o We will contact you to provide assistance and give feedback on
              how you’re making a difference. For the first year, this contact is at
              least monthly, by phone call, email or at agency events. Once a
              year, every year of the match, there is an “in person” anniversary
              meeting. After the first year and for the life of the match, the
              contact becomes quarterly. The Clinician may ask for more contact
              if needed.
          o Anytime you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a
              situation, your Clinician and/or Match Support Specialist are here to
   •   Work toward a long-lasting relationship

   •   Realize that problems may come up
             o It’s normal for problems to arise in a match relationship or any
                 other relationship.
             o Try to have realistic expectations about what it will be like with
                 your Little and how long the relationship will take to develop.
             o Do not expect quick changes in your Little.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                               -6–
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
Your Clinician and/or Match Support Specialist will:

       •   Give you ideas about low cost, fun activities that you can do with your

       •   Provide help on specific topics when you need it.

       •   If necessary, help you work through any problems you might have with
           your Little and/or the parents/guardians.

Have Fun. Make a Difference. Make a Friend.

   How to Get Involved – Enrollment
       •   JBBBSLA will take the following steps to learn more about you:

              o Interview

              o References

              o Criminal history record check/Fingerprints

              o Home assessment

              o Possible interview with significant other

              o Information from another BBBS agency or other service
                organization where you may have volunteered previously

       •   If agreeable to all parties you get matched with a child.
       •   Start having FUN, making a difference in the life of a child, and
           enjoying your new friend.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                              -7–
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
How to Create a Partnership with Your Little’s Parent/Guardian
       arents have entrusted their child to you. They are the leaders in their

P      family and it is important that we respect and honor that. Our role is to
       support them whenever we can and when it’s appropriate. The parent’s
       support is critical to the success of the match. It may take a while to
       establish your role with the parent. Listed below are some ways you can
       work with the Parent/Guardian.

   o Communicate with them before and after an activity. Describe what
     you plan to do and what you’ve done together.

   o Make sure they are aware of activity plans, and ask if the activity is
     ok (do not rely on the Little to tell the Parent/Guardian about plans).

   o Let them know about any changes in plans.

   o Respect the privacy and confidentiality of your Little’s family.

   o Maintain a primary relationship with your Little and do not become
     overly involved with the rest of his/her family.

   o Talk to your clinician and/or Match Support Specialist about any
     concerns you have about your Little, your Little’s family or your
     Little’s well-being.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                           -8–
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
Child Safety - A Top Priority
Children’s safety is our #1 priority. We focus on the child’s safety and well-
being throughout the match. We do this by providing:

          o Thorough professional screening of our Bigs and Littles

          o Guidelines that establish appropriate boundaries and respect a
            child’s right to feel safe

          o Ongoing JBBBSLA Match Support with each party in the match
            (This helps provide up-to-date information about safety issues and
            early warnings of potential problems throughout the match

          o Consistent scheduled contacts with each member of the match

As a Big, you play a role in supporting the parent’s primary goal of keeping their
child safe. Bigs need to model appropriate behavior as well as assume
responsibility for their Little’s safety during outings.

Some safety issues include Internet safety and awareness, bullying and violence
prevention, the Little’s medical condition and child abuse prevention.

Our agency has expectations and guidelines relating to Child Safety. We require
that you know and follow these guidelines.


The following is a list of policies that all help to ensure the safety and well-
being of our Littles. The Bigs sign a list of these ground rules as part of
the matching process (see attached).

1. Outings are to be on an average of 3 to 6 hours twice a month.

2. Do not include other adults or children on the outings. If there is to be an
   exception, approval is required by the Clinician or Match Support Specialist
   and the parent/guardian prior to the outing.

3. I understand that I will learn personal information about my Little Brother or
   Sister and family members which is confidential. If I have any concerns or
   issues I will immediately notify my Clinician/Match Support Specialist.

4. No overnight activities are allowed for the first year of the match.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                             -9–
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
5. After the first year, any arrangement for overnight activities must be
   discussed with the Clinician/Match Support Specialist and the parent and

6. Inform the Little’s parent/guardian of match activity plans and obtain his/her

7. Seat belts and/or booster seats are required for Littles. Car seats are
   required for children up to 40 lbs and booster seats until they weigh 65 lbs.
   Children are not permitted to ride in the front seat until they are at least 12
   (though it is always safest to ride in the back seat).

8. Drive safely during outings with your Little and do not speed.

9. No alcohol or illegal drugs before or during outings or events.

10. No expensive gifts or extravagant outings. When in doubt, check with your
    Clinician/Match Support Specialist.

11. Monthly in-person, phone or email contact with Clinician/Match Support
    Specialist is required for the first year.

12. After the first year, quarterly phone or email contact is required.

13. An “in-person” meeting with Big and Little is required at least once a year.

14. If any problem arises in the relationship with the Little Brother or Sister or
    their parent/guardian, contact the Clinician/Match Support Specialist promptly.

15. If above problems arise, I understand that my Clinician/Match Support
    Specialist may ask to meet with me, and I will respond promptly to this

16. Carry an updated JBBBSLA Emergency Treatment Consent Card at all times
    during an outing.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                               - 10 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
Suspicion of Child Abuse
If you ever have a situation where your Little talks to you about any abuse or
violence he/she is subject to, contact your Clinician and/or Match Support
Specialist immediately. Our response to the disclosure by a child can prevent
negative outcomes for the child and their family. For that reason, it’s critical that
volunteers follow our JBBBSLA protocols on reporting abuse.

All JBBBSLA staff are subject to the State law that suspected child abuse be
reported to the appropriate authorities. JBBBSLA staff are responsible for
staying abreast of such reporting requirements of their respective jurisdiction and
shall always comply with mandated procedures. If a staff member receives
information that causes him or her to believe in good faith that a client or
volunteer may be dangerous to himself or herself or to others, necessary steps
may be taken to protect the appropriate party or parties. This may include a
medical referral or a report to the local law enforcement authorities.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                               - 11 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
JBBBSLA Support - How JBBBSLA Works with
You & Your Little
     BBBSLA works hard to support the relationship you have with your

J    Little. Our goal is for the relationship to be as successful as possible
     for everyone. Bigs and Littles work with their JBBBSLA Clinician and/or
     Match Support Specialist. This specialist also works with the Little’s parent
     or guardian.

Along the way to forming a safe and lasting friendship, your Match Support Team will
be in touch with you to help you and your Little. They may call, meet with you in
person, or email you. Monthly communication is required for the first year of the
match and quarterly communication is required after the first year throughout the life
of the match. This allows us to provide support and give you ideas for activities, etc.
You can think of your Clinician and/or Match Support Specialist as a link between you,
your Little, your Little’s parent and the agency.

That’s not all that the Match Support Team provides for your match. They
   • Provide you with feedback on how you’re making a difference
   • Find information and resources that you might be interested in
   • Offer group activities and give you activity ideas for you and your Little
   • Hook you up with donated tickets to community/sports events
   • Keep you updated on activities offered by the agency
   • Help you communicate with your Little and their parent
   • Work with you on any conflicts that might come up

You don’t need to wait to hear from your Clinician and/or Match Support
Specialist--they love to be contacted by their Bigs. Here are some good
reasons for calling your Clinician and/or Match Support Specialist:
   • To ask for feedback from the Little, and Parent or Guardian about how the
      match is going
   • Share fun stories about your match
   • Discuss concerns you are having with your match or the safety of your Little
   • Ask for activity ideas and find out about current events at JBBBSLA
   • Report any emergency situations

If your Clinician and/or Match Support Specialist is not available, please contact
the agency for assistance. We make it a priority to serve you when you need it.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                                 - 12 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
You Can Make a Difference in the Life of a Child
It’s pretty simple. By building a trusting friendship with a child, you can make a
powerful impact in his or her life. That’s what it’s all about.

Here are some thoughts on making a difference:

   •   Consistently sharing activities together (events, having lunch, just
       talking) is the biggest factor in forming a positive relationship with
   •   Deciding together what activities to do fosters a stronger
   •   By being there you are making a difference even if you don’t think
       you are.
   •   If you’re concerned about not making a difference, talk it over with
       your Clinician and or Match Support Specialist.

Stages in the Match
Now that you are matched with your Little, you may be thinking what
comes next and how fast will it happen?

       s every experienced Big will tell you, the friendship takes time to develop.

A      It is a different experience for every Big and Little, and no doubt your
       friendship will be unique.

       However, there are some common stages that most match friendships
will go through at different times, usually depending on the level of trust that has
been established.


       What does this stage look like?
         o You are both trying to figure each other out.
         o Littles may try to get their Bigs’ approvals or impress them.

       What can you do to move it along?
         o Without prying, learn facts about your Little and reference them in
             your conversations: e.g. favorite things, best friend, where they’ve
         o Be consistent and flexible, do what you said you were going to do.
             Be patient and remember that relationships have ups and downs,
             and don't "happen" by themselves.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                               - 13 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
What does this stage look like?
        o This is the most crucial time regarding the development of the
            Big/Little relationship.
        o This is the time that may be a turning point in the relationship.
        o It is common, around the four-month date, that your Little will begin
            testing you to see what you are really about and how much he/she
            can get away with.
        o Your Little may be observing you to find a reason not to trust you.

What can you do to move it along?
         o Show your Little that he can trust you, through your reliability,
            consistency, and time together. As trust develops, your Little will
            probably begin sharing bits of information here and there with you.
         o Keep in close contact with your Match Support Specialist for ideas.
         o Recognize and praise accomplishments
         o If you need to give advice or address behavior problems, give
            reasons; avoid "shoulds.”


What does this stage look like?
        o You will notice your relationship with your Little has become more
            positive and realistic and match activities are less structured.
        o Most Bigs have shed their preconceived notions regarding the
            match and their Little.
        o As the friendship matures, you will see the maturity of your Little as
            he/she grows and develops.

What can you do to move it along?
         o Develop long-term shared interests, activities that you will do
            frequently together and that you both enjoy.
         o Identify past shared experiences and enjoy shared "jokes."
         o Learn something new to both of you, together.

Transition and “Closure”
          o Your relationship with your Little may transition to less regular
            contact because of a change of address for you or your Llittle, a
            change in life circumstance or other reasons. When one of these
            circumstances occurs, the Big and/or the Little may decide it is time
            for a change—for a “transition.” JBBBSLA will “close” the file of
            your match and will not continue providing regular support to the
            match. The Big and Little may transition into a pattern of
            continuing, though less frequent, contact. All JBBBSLA matches
            “close” when the Little reaches the age of 18 or graduates from
            high school.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                            - 14 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
          o No matter the reason or the length of the match, you and your Little
            have given a lot to each other and going through this transition
            should be handled in a sensitive, thoughtful, and caring way.
          o Working closely with the JBBBSLA staff and the child’s
            parent/guardian, make a plan for some form of continued contact
            that feels appropriate to your match circumstances. This may be
            as limited as exchanging greeting cards at holidays or as intense as
            continued regular contact with an 18 year old going off to college.

Strategies for Common Problems
       ver the years we have seen some common problems that can occur in

O      any match. These are called common because they are, well…
       common. It’s normal for Little/Big relationships to experience some
       of these situations.

We’ve collected some examples of these common problems and included them
for you in the next few pages, including some tips on how to handle them. After
your match gets going, if you are experiencing one of these challenges, you can
bring the issue up with your Match Support staff and discuss in more detail how
to proceed in a successful way.

“What do I do?”

“My Little doesn’t show appreciation.”
  • Coming into the match with a preconceived notion of how your Little
      should show appreciation will set you up for a letdown. Your Little may
      not say “please” and “thank you” when you first start meeting, and even
      after many times together he/she may still not respond in a way that you
      deem appropriate.
  • Just by going on outings with you, the Little is showing you that your time
      together is important to them. “I had a good time” may eventually be a
      response, but may be a long time in coming. Sometimes he/she might
      only say, “It was o.k.” Be sure you model the behavior you would like your
      Little to demonstrate, and be consistent.     You can also say to them
      something like “It helps me when you say ‘thanks’.

“My Little doesn’t share feelings and/or initiate conversation.”
  • You may feel that your Little is not putting as much into the relationship as
      you would like. The relationship may seem one-sided for a long time with
      you doing the talking, and your Little not saying much.

       Use games (basketball, checkers, cards) or activities (doing an art project,
       digging in the sand, car games) as a way to interact. Remember that the
       most important relating is in just “being together.” Some kids don’t
       express their feelings verbally, but will show it in the smile on their face
       when you show up.
Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                              - 15 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
“My Little never calls me.”

   •   Littles love to receive phone calls, but seldom feel comfortable initiating
       them. Asking your Little to share with you the good feeling that comes
       from getting a phone call may help him/her to understand that adults also
       like to receive calls from people they like. Giving your Little definite times
       to call may help, as can enlisting the parent’s help to encourage your Little
       to call.
   •   It is important not to stop calling with hopes that they will start calling you.
       It is important to be patient, and be sure to reinforce the behavior with
       positive remarks when they do call.

“My Little doesn’t act the right way.”
  • Your Little may come from a family with a very different value system than
      yours. It is not your responsibility or role to try to change the values of
      your Little. Your match is a learning experience for both of you. If your
      Little has never been to a play, they may not know what behavior is
      expected of them.
  • Try to be content with the understanding that, through your example, your
      Little may come to respect your values. But this may be a long process.

“My Little doesn’t seem to need me.”
  • Every child should have someone to bring a little magic to them, but your
      Little may not respond in a way that makes you feel you are needed.
      Feeling needed may be expressed by your Little in small ways, and may
      be non-verbal.
  • In time, you may learn to recognize small signs that your Little needs you.
      This will help you to be content with the knowledge that you are making a
      difference and are a much-needed part of your Little’s life.

“My Little doesn’t want to improve.”
  • Your Little may have many adults eager to say what she/he is doing
  • What your Little will respond to is someone who will point out and praise
      strengths. These strengths (assets) can range from the values that the
      child holds to things he/she is good at doing. If your Little knows that you
      are going to be positive, give encouragement and compliments, and
      appreciate the unique person that he/she is, change will happen in very
      positive ways, and your Little will grow in confidence, competence and

The most important thing to remember is that you will need to be patient and
persistent throughout your relationship! Your relationship may take time to
develop, but if you are able to manage your expectations, be open to surprises,
and accepting of your Little as an individual, you are in for a fantastic ride! Your
Clinician and/or Match Support Specialist is available to help you through any of
the above situations.           Remember to seek help as necessary.
Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                                 - 16 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs

Effective Relationships
Conflict Resolution Strategies

   • Negotiating:
       o Bigs and Littles listen to the others’ points of view and
         discuss which position might be the best.

   • Compromising:
       o Meeting halfway -- both parties agree to sacrifice
         something in order to resolve the conflict.

   • Active Listening:
       o Big shows that he or she understands the Little’s wishes.

   • Distracting:
        o Helping Littles to forget about the conflict by focusing their
           attention on some other interesting activity. (Especially
           useful for young kids with shorter attention spans, and
           when the conflict doesn’t need a lot of discussion)

   • Humor:
       o Diffusing negative emotions by looking at the brighter side
         of the situation. It’s amazing how quickly a mood can
         change with some humor.

   • Chance:
       o Flipping a coin or drawing straws.

   • Sharing:
       o Working together to meet the needs of both parties.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                   - 17 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
       In your eagerness to relate to children, resist the impulse to interrupt with
       a similar story of your own.

       Be Flexible:
       Do it their way once and your way next; e.g., lunch first and video arcade
       after; museum this time and movie next time.

       Be Consistent:
       If a child has suffered lots of disappointments, this can be one of the most
       crucial qualities you can offer.

       Give Reasons:
       It’s always helpful to give explanations to a child about your responses or
       guidance. Example: “One reason I think is . . .” or “I’m not so sure about
       this because . . .”

       Show Affection:

       There is a natural tendency for people to want and need affection. You
       should model appropriate behavior. You can show affection by letting the
       child know you’ve been thinking about him/her during their absence with a
       handshake or a hug around the shoulder if the child is comfortable with

       Model Appropriate Behavior:
       Be conscious of your behavior and what you are projecting by your

       Have Fun:
       Find opportunities to be silly; find nicknames and private jokes.

       Acknowledge Accomplishments:
       In day-to-day activities note when the child tries and succeeds; e.g.,
       balancing on railroad ties (but not on an active train track).

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                               - 18 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
       Give Encouragement:
       Remind them of previous successes when something seems difficult. Tell
       them to keep trying and that success sometimes comes in small

       See the Youth as an Individual:
       Identify what is special and unique about the child and acknowledge it
       somehow each time you are together.

       Practice Anticipatory Empathy:
       Although you may not have had the degree of loss that your Little has had,
       reach down and remember how you felt about losses you have had: the
       death of a grandparent or a dog.

       Respect Boundaries:
       If you see that a question you’ve asked is “touchy,” back away. Children
       who have been “burned” need to protect their vulnerability. Openness
       comes over time once trust is established in the relationship.

       Make Frequent Deposits:
       Building a relationship is like building a bank account. Every time you do
       what you said you were going to do, have fun together, or say the right
       encouraging word, it’s like making a deposit that can later be drawn
       against when changes in routine or scheduling may be necessary.

       Spend Private Time:
       The Big’s basic service is ONE-TO-ONE and may offer the only time when
       the child is not one of several siblings or one of a roomful of students.

       Remember Details:
       Nothing is more flattering to any of us than to know we are truly being
       listened to and what we say is worth remembering. When you ask
       questions, such as “How did this go last week . . .” the Little knows you
       have remembered.

       Learn 20 Facts Fast:

       In the course of your first meeting, without prying, find out 20 facts about
       people, places and things important to your Little; who is their teacher,
       what is their dog’s name, do they like chocolate or vanilla?

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                              - 19 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
       Criticize the Past:

       Avoid bringing up past mistakes – “Well, you were late last time so I
       thought you’d be late again.”

       Generalize Negative Behavior:
       Avoid words like “you always” or “you never.”

       Share Your Personal Problems:
       You are there for the child. Only when there is a lesson to be learned is it
       appropriate to share personal issues and then with limited details of a
       personal nature.


       Be sensitive to verbal and nonverbal cues that indicate you are asking too
       many questions. This may feel too threatening or intrusive to the Little.
       Children, like adults, offer information when they are ready and able to.

       Make Unnecessary Withdrawals:
       Each time you use corrective feedback or express your disagreement with
       behavior you make a “withdrawal” from your “relationship bank”. For each
       withdrawal, you should have four deposits accumulated. Please scrutinize
       whether the withdrawals are necessary ones. If put more positively,
       perhaps they will become deposits.

       Let your Little finish telling you a story or giving you information without
       being interrupted.

       Pass Judgment:

       Wait to be asked before you offer your opinion, for your opinion may come
       across as a judgment.

       Criticize Family:
       It is inappropriate to criticize your Little’s family. Even if you disapprove,
       do not voice your opinion. Help your Little problem solve issues involving
       their concern about their family. Active listening is very helpful.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                               - 20 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
       Criticize Friends:

       Likewise, do not voice your opinion about behavior or “style” of your
       Little’s friends. Observe rather than condemn: “I noticed that. . .”

       Use a Lot of “Shoulds”:
       “Shoulds” provoke resistance, Find ways to say “How about if…” and other
       more positive phrases.

       Discourage Difference:
       Allow your Little the freedom to explore various ways of thinking and
       behaving even if they are different from yours. He/she is in the process of
       finding out and developing himself or herself.

       Set Unrealistic Expectations:
       Understand that you are one force among many in the child’s life and be
       patient and persevering. Be aware of very small changes. They are so
       rewarding to notice!

       Criticize, Name-call Blame, Evaluate, Judge Negatively,

       These messages lower self-esteem, and reduce openness. “You are
       lazy…” “You are bad…” “You are not thinking straight…” “You really are
       fouled up…” “You dummy…”

       Kid, Tease, Make light of or joke using sarcasm:

       These messages may arouse feelings of rejection, resentment, and
       hostility. “Get up on the wrong side of the bed?”

       Diagnose, Psychoanalyze, Interpret, Read into:

       These messages are experienced as rejecting of the other person’s self-
       perception. “What you need is…” “What’s wrong with you is…” “You’re
       just trying to get attention.” “You don’t really mean that…”

       Withdraw, Divert, Avoid, Digress, Shift:

       Here, one may communicate lack of respect for the listener and anxiety in
       the speaker. The “silent treatment” has, in addition, a punishing effect.
       “Forget it…”
Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                             - 21 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
       Cross Examine, Interrogate, Question, Probe, Pry:

       These messages may show interest in what the person is saying, but in
       fact they ignore the other person’s feelings and may communicate distrust.
       They feel like they are being subjected to the “third degree.” “Why did you
       do that?” “Where were you…?” “When are you going to…?”

       Tune out:
       Good communication between two people begins with listening.
       Developing effective listening skills can enhance a relationship and avoid
       misunderstanding. Listening means attending to the person talking,
       hearing their words, watching their nonverbal cues, and understanding the
       meaning of what they are verbally and non-verbally saying. Ask for
       clarification: “Let me see if this is what you mean . . .”

                              LISTENING SKILLS
       Listening skills are founded on respect…respect for the person with whom
       you are communicating whatever their age.

          •   We cannot assume that what we mean when we use a word is the
              same thing your Little means when they use a word. Take time to
              learn each other’s “languages.”

          •   Clear communication is a two-way street.         The speaker AND
              listener have to be actively involved.

          •   Focus on what is being said. Do not let your mind wander.

          •   Do not rehearse what you will be saying next.

          •   Effective listening skills are the most important thing you can do to
              build a relationship with your Little.

          •   Make eye contact.

          •   Repeat what you heard to make sure you got it right.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                              - 22 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
Blocks are behaviors that hinder rather than facilitate communication. They tend
to discount the validity of the feelings, opinions and rights of the other person.
Blocks may sabotage open communication and get in the way of building self-

Positive alternatives to these roadblocks are active listening techniques such as
door openers, probing, paraphrasing and reflective listening. These are only
starting points. Each of us has our own style. Be aware of responses that feel
most comfortable for you.

These messages induce guilt, reduce self-esteem, and build generalized
resistance to authority. “You should…” “You ought to…” “It is your duty
to go to school and do your best.”

These invite counter-arguments, imply you’re right and the listener is
wrong, increase defensiveness, and reduce openness. “Do you realize…”
“Here is why you are wrong…” “That is not right…” “The fact is…” “You
must not get involved with drugs because they are harmful.” “You’ll have
to get a good job and support yourself.”

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                             - 23 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
General Characteristics
   •   Eager to learn, easily fatigued, short periods of interest.
   •   Learn best when they are active while learning.
   •   Self-assertive, boastful, less cooperative, more competitive.

Physical Characteristics
   •   Are very active and need frequent breaks from tasks. They like to do
       things that are fun and involve use of energy.
   •   Need rest periods.
   •   Large muscles are well developed. Activities involving small muscles are
       difficult (i.e., working on models with small pieces).
   •   May tend to be accident prone.

Social Characteristics
   •   Like organized games and are very concerned about following rules.
   •   Can be very competitive. May cheat at games.
   •   Are very imaginative and involved in fantasy playing.
   •   Are self-assertive, aggressive, want to be first, less cooperative than at
       five, and boastful.
   •   Learn best through active participation.

Emotional Characteristics
   •   Are alert to feelings of others, but are unaware of how their own actions
       affect others.
   •   Are very sensitive to praise and recognition. Feelings are easily hurt.
   •   Inconsistent in level of maturity evidenced; regress when tired, often less
       mature at home than with outsiders.

Mental Characteristics
   •   Are very eager to learn.
   •   Like to talk.
   •   Their idea of fairness becomes a big issue.
   •   Have difficulty making decisions.

Developmental Tasks
   •   Sex role identification.
   •   Early moral development.
   •   Concrete operations - the child begins to experience the predictability of
       physical events.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                             - 24 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
8 – 10 Year Olds

General Characteristics
   •   Interested in people, aware of differences, willing to give more to others
       but expect more.
   •   Busy, active, full of enthusiasm, may try too much, accident prone
   •   Interested in money and its value.
   •   Sensitive to criticism, recognize failure, capacity for self-evaluation.
   •   Capable of prolonged interest, may make plans on own.
   •   Decisive, dependable, reasonable, strong sense of right and wrong.
   •   Spend a great deal of time in talk and discussion, often outspoken and
       critical of adults although still dependent on adult approval.

Physical Characteristics
   •   Are very active and need frequent breaks from tasks to do things that are
       fun for them and involve use of energy.
   •   Bone growth is not yet complete.
   •   Kids who mature early may be upset with their size.
   •   May tend to be accident prone.

Social Characteristics
   •   Can be very competitive.
   •   Are choosy about their friends.
   •   Being accepted by friends becomes quite important.
   •   Team games become popular.
   •   Worshipping heroes, TV stars, and sports figures is common.

Emotional Characteristics
   •   Are very sensitive to praise and recognition. Feelings are hurt easily.
   •   Because friends are so important during this time, there can be conflicts
       between adults’ rules and friend’s rules. You can help by your honesty
       and consistency.

Mental Characteristics
   •   Their idea of fairness becomes a big issue.
   •   Are eager to answer questions.
   •   Are very curious, and are collectors of everything. However, they may
       jump to other objects of interest after a short time.
   •   Want more independence, but know they need guidance and support.
   •   Wide discrepancies in reading ability.

Developmental Tasks
   •   Social cooperation.
   •   Self-evaluation/Skill learning.
   •   Team play.
   •   Abstract / conceptual thought.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                            - 25 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
11 – 13 Year Olds

General Characteristics
  • Testing limits, “know-it-all attitude.”
  • Vulnerable, emotionally insecure, fear of rejection, mood swings.
  • Identification with admired adult.
  • Bodies are going through physical changes that affect personal
Physical Characteristics
  • Small-muscle coordination is good, and interests in art, crafts, models and
      music are popular.
  • Bone growth is not yet complete.
  • Early maturers may be upset with their size.
  • Very concerned with their appearance, and very self-conscious about
  • Diet and sleep habits can be bad, which may result in low energy levels.
  • Girls may begin menstruation.
Social Characteristics
  • Being accepted by friends becomes quite important.
  • Cliques start to develop outside of school.
  • Team games become popular.
  • Crushes on members of the opposite sex are common.
  • Friends set the general rule of behavior.
  • They feel a real need to conform. They dress and behave alike in order to
  • Very concerned about what others say and think of them.
  • Have a tendency to manipulate others (“Mary’s mother says she can go.
      Why can’t I?”).
  • Interested in earning money of their own.
Emotional Characteristics
  • Very sensitive to praise and recognition. Feelings are hurt easily.
  • Because friends are so important during this time, there can be conflicts
     between adults’ rules and friends’ rules.
  • Caught between being a child and being an adult.
  • Loud behavior hides their lack of self-confidence.
  • Look at the world more objectively, adults subjectively, critical

Mental Characteristics
     • Tend to be perfectionists. If they try to attempt too much, they may
         feel frustrated and guilty.
     • Want more independence, but know they need guidance and support.
     • Attention span can be lengthy.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                          - 26 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
14 – 16 Year Olds
General Characteristics
  • Testing limits, “know-it -all attitude.”
  • Vulnerable, emotionally insecure, fear of rejection, mood swings.
  • Identification with admired adult.
  • Bodies are going through physical changes that affect personal
Physical Characteristics
  • Very concerned with their appearance and very self-conscious about
  • Diet and sleep habits can be bad, which may result in low energy levels.
  • Rapid weight gain at beginning of adolescence. Enormous appetite.
Social Characteristics
  • Friends set the general rules of behavior.
  • Feel a real need to conform. They dress and behave alike in order to
  • Very concerned about what others say and think of them.
  • Have a tendency to manipulate others (“Mary’s mother says she can go.
      Why can’t I?”).
  • Going to extremes, emotional instability with “know-it-all” attitude.
  • Fear of ridicule and of being unpopular.
  • Strong identification with an admired adult.
  • Girls usually more interested in boys than girls, resulting from early
      maturation of the girls.
Emotional Characteristics
  • Very sensitive to praise and recognition. Feelings are easily hurt.
  • Caught between being a child and being an adult.
  • Loud behavior hides their lack of self-confidence.
  • Look at the world more objectively, adults subjectively, critical.
Mental Characteristics
  • Can better understand moral principles.
  • Attention span can be lengthy.
Developmental Tasks
  • Physical maturation.
  • Abstract thought continues to develop.
  • Membership in the peer group.
  • Relating to the opposite sex.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                            - 27 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
                     Match Activity Suggestions
   •   Start a hobby together (e.g., astronomy, clowning, sewing, music, singing,
       drama, dance, stained glass, painting, poetry…).
   •   Start a collection of something you are both interested in like stamps,
       rocks, coins, comics, bugs, dolls, figures, sports cards, etc.
   •   Walk, train, and play with your dog together.
   •   Go to the Marina.
   •   Build a model car, plane, or rocket.
   •   Form your own book club (with other matches) and/or read together.
   •   Go to a circus or carnival.
   •   Go bowling.
   •   Draw, paint, work with clay, or make paper-mache animals or casts of
       each other.
   •   Play Charades, checkers, chess, backgammon, or any board or card
       game (you can even create your own).
   •   Take a bike ride together (there are several trails in the area –the beach
       trail- Burbank park- Ballona Creek).
   •   Research your family trees together – the library and internet are great
   •   Attend your Little’s school play or sporting event to cheer him/her on!
   •   Fly a kite at the park – for an extra challenge, make your own kites!
   •   Visit an area firehouse or police station.
   •   Attend a JBBBSLA Match Activity.
   •   Feed birds or go to a park and feed the ducks.
   •   Go rollerskating, blading or ice skating.
   •   Have a TV show you both watch every week, then call and talk about it.
   •   Do a science project together using household products (find out what
       happens to an egg soaked in vinegar).
   •   Take a free kid-friendly class.
   •   Bounce on a trampoline.
   •   Go to local art fairs, festivals, and events.
Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                                  - 28 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
   •   Watch a parade.
   •   Go horseback riding.
   •   See one of our local sports teams in action using tickets provided by
   •   Check into local history/archeology.
   •   Take a walk and bring a special bag to collect interesting objects along the
   •   Help your Little with homework or a school project.
   •   Write a letter to your Little on your match anniversary telling what you’ve
       noticed about him/her in the last year. Ex: positive changes, growth or
   •   Watch a fireworks show.
   •   Take your Little to your place of employment.
   •   After you have been matched for one year, go on a camping trip, even if it
       is in your backyard or inside (remember how much fun it was to throw a
       sheet over the dining room table).
   •   Make your own cards for holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions
       for friends and relatives.
   •   Build a bird house or feeder.
   •   Visit a Park.
   •   Write and send letters in the mail to each other or get pen pals.
   •   Share family/vacation pictures with each other.
   •   Create a Match scrapbook or photo album to record all your fun times
   •   Start a garden.
   •   Make a log cabin, picture frame, or anything you can think of out of
       popsicle sticks.
   •   Try new restaurants together.
   •   Go to the movies.
   •   Teach him/her how to change the oil in your car, or any handy skills you
       may have.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                              - 29 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
   •   Complete a jigsaw puzzle.
   •   Volunteer at a community center/soup kitchen/humane society.
   •   Make up new lyrics to a song – maybe even about your match.
   •   Go to an auto show, boat show, or truck pull.
   •   Make your own T-shirts with fabric markers and colored glue.
   •   Enjoy cloud watching on a nice day.
   •   Go swimming or even play with the water hose or sprinkler in the
   •   Volunteer to help build a house for Habitat for Humanity, or deliver food for
       Meals on Wheels.
   •   Keep a journal of all your outings together and what you liked/disliked
       about each.
   •   Make friendship bracelets, or do other crafts together.
   •   Visit a local courthouse and observe a court hearing.
   •   Play frisbee, catch, basketball, volleyball, touch football, croquet,
       badminton, etc.
   •   Make paper airplanes and gliders.
   •   Go apple\fruit picking.
   •   Visit a local museum – there are plenty to choose from!
   •   Write a newsletter together to send to your friends and relatives.
   •   Play golf or putt-putt, or just hit golf balls at a driving range.
   •   Make wrapping paper from old magazines and newspapers.
   •   Show him/her how to maintain their bike—replace chain, repair brakes, etc.
   •   Make an obstacle course in your local park and time each other.
   •   Make puppets.
   •   Use sidewalk chalk and draw pictures on the sidewalk.
   •   Let your Little drive…at a go-cart track!
   •   Go to a gem and mineral show.
   •   Look through coupon books for 2 for 1 deals for your favorite activities.
   •   Eat lunch with your Little at school.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                                 - 30 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
   •   Go on sound scavenger hunt with a tape recorder.
   •   Call your Support Specialist and let them know about the activities you
       have tried.
   •   Visit your synagogue or your Little’s synagogue.
   •   Have a picnic.
   •   Make a collage on “friendship” or your Little’s life using pictures and
       headlines from old magazines and newspapers.
   •   Visit the Humane Society.
   •   Look up new words in the dictionary.
   •   Have your Little teach you something.
   •   Plan for a money earning project and save money for a special event.
   •   Blow Bubbles.
   •   Listen to music together.
   •   If your Little is a teenager, practice completing job and college
   •   Show your Little your high school yearbook, baby pictures, old report
       cards, etc.
   •   Build a snowman/ woman in the local mountains during the winter.
   •   Go on a camera scavenger hunt – Make a list of the things you want
       pictures of before you go and let your Little take the pictures.
   •   Spend some time with your Support Specialist! We love getting out of the
       office and hanging out with matches!
   •   Go to the beach and build sand castles.
   •   Go on a nature hike.

   •   Talk about this list! And make a goal to complete some things on the list.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                            - 31 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
5-7             8 –10                   11-13                  14-16
Make sand       Start a scrapbook       Do a charity project   Get tickets to a TV
castles at the  with a page for         together               show
beach           pictures of favorite
Fly a kite on a Go on a camera          Have your little       Research what
windy day       scavenger hunt to       introduce you to       happened on the day
                find odd objects to     new music              and year each of you
                photograph                                     was born
Go on a walk Make greeting,             Build and paint a      Check out the classified
and collect     get well or holiday     bird house – watch     ads and discuss what
interesting     cards to give to        for occupants          each job requires in
rocks, leaves special people                                   terms of education and
or other items                                                 experience
Feed the        Make a bug cage         Rent rollerblades      Visit a fish market, meat
ducks at the    and catch bugs          and learn to skate,    market or other place
park            together                safely                 where food is not
Make a           Visit the zoo at       Make a list of         Go out for dinner at an
present for      feeding time           people you admire – ethnic restaurant; who
someone                                 look them up on the else is eating there?
special                                 internet at the local  Favorite dishes?
Play UNO,        Read a selected        Take a long ride on Explore a new radio
Crazy 8s, Old    book out loud and      public transportation station together;
Maid             tape record it         to the end of the line discuss ads and target
Play             Play Miniature         Visit the SPCA and     Plan, shop for
badminton or     golf or go bowling     offer to walk the      ingredients and cook
croquet                                 dogs                   dinner (after one year)
Go for a walk,   Play Monopoly,         Mow the lawn or        Go to a concert
find             Life, Sorry,           wash the car           featuring a favorite
interesting      hangman                together               performer
places to
Have a           Go on a field trip     Ride bikes on the      Try mastering
peanut and       to the museum –        beach path or in       something difficult:
jelly sandwich   focus on one           Balboa Park            juggling, cooking a
picnic           exhibit and                                   soufflé, water color
                 discuss it                                    painting
Visit a pet      Call ahead and         Plan and plant a       Watch a professional or
store and        visit the local fire   garden or visit a      semi-professional
decide which     station or police      community garden       sporting event
is the oddest    station                and offer to help
Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                                - 32 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
Sample Match Scenarios
   1. You and your Little Brother are shopping at the mall and he asks you
      to buy something for him.
       It is important that your match be based on friendship, not money or material
       possessions. Set financial boundaries and stick to them. There is nothing wrong with low
       cost treats or gifts on a special occasion, but buying things for your Little should not be a
       regular practice. In this scenario, you may want to help your Little think of ways to earn
       what he wants rather than relying on you to buy it for him.

   2. Your Little Sister wants to see an R-rated movie and she tells you
      that her mother lets her watch this type of movie all of the time.
       While there is no policy against taking your Little to an R-rated movie, it is important to
       remember that the adult content of R-rated movies is inappropriate for most of the
       children in our program. In this scenario, first consider if you are comfortable going to this
       movie. If not, say so. If you wouldn’t mind seeing the movie, consider if you know enough
       about the content, if it is appropriate for the age and maturity level of your Little, and if it
       really is OK with the Little’s parent before buying the movie tickets.

   3. Your Little Brother tells you that he has a secret. He will tell you only
      if you promise not to tell anyone else.
       A Big Brother or Big Sister cannot promise to keep all secrets. Some secrets may be
       harmless, such as information about a gift or a surprise for someone. However, if your
       Little tells you that he is being harmed in some way, or someone he knows is being
       harmed, you will have to tell the Little’s parent and/or Match Support Specialist. In this
       scenario, it is best to tell your Little that he can tell you anything, but some things are
       serious enough that you may need to ask for help on how to handle it, so you cannot
       always promise that you won’t tell anyone else.

   4. You do something really special for your Little Sister, but she does
      not thank you. In fact, she seldom says “thank you” and neither does
      her parent.
       It can be frustrating when your Little doesn’t thank you, but there are many factors to
       consider. Has this been role modeled for your Little? Is your Little too embarrassed to
       thank you? Is your Little shy and uncomfortable verbalizing her feelings? It is fine to
       remind your Little when to say “thank you”, but try to not to take it personally if it takes
       some time for your Little to make it a habit. If you watch closely, chances are that your
       Little is showing appreciation through behavior more than through words.

   5. You find that you are always the one planning outings. Your Little
      Brother is very complacent and never makes any suggestions.
       This is an example of how a friendship with a child can be different from a friendship with
       an adult. With your adult friends, it is likely that you take turns suggesting activities to do
       when you are together. That is not always the case with a child and there can be several
       reasons. Perhaps your Little doesn’t know what his options are, maybe he hasn’t been
       exposed to enough different things to know everything he likes or doesn’t like, or maybe
       he isn’t sure if you are really interested in the things he wants to do. A good strategy is to
       keep asking for his input, but don’t get frustrated if he doesn’t have anything to offer. Pay
       attention when you are at your Little’s home and you can pick up some clues on his
       interests, even if he can’t tell you. It is also helpful to offer your Little choices.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                                                - 33 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
   6. You arrive to pick up your Little Sister for an outing and discover
      that nobody is home.
       This is not a frequent scenario in our program, but it is important to know what you would
       do if it happens to you. If your Little’s parent has a cell phone, make sure that you have
       that phone number. If you aren’t able to reach your Little or the parent, leave a note on
       the door or a phone message saying that you were there. At your first opportunity, speak
       to the parent about the incident. Perhaps it was a simple misunderstanding. Remember
       that it is generally best to make sure the parent knows about your scheduled outings by
       making a quick confirmation phone call or email. With younger children, schedule the
       outings directly with the parent to avoid any misunderstandings. If this does become a
       regular occurrence, contact your Match Support Specialist and ask for assistance in
       approaching the parent.

   7. You frequently find yourself talking to your Little Sister’s mother
      about her personal problems such as her divorce, her job, or
      financial situation. You feel that you need to help because if you
      don’t, nobody else will.
       It is natural for you to feel the urge to help your Little’s parent. Sometimes you can do that
       just by spending a minute listening and sympathizing. However, it is important to keep
       boundaries with the Little’s parent and not lose sight of who you are matched to. Taking
       on too many of the families problems can quickly lead to burn-out and then you might not
       be able to help your Little at all. If you are concerned about your Little’s parent,
       encourage the parent to speak with JBBBSLA staff.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                                              - 34 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
                               Getting to Know You

My 3 favorite things to do at home are:          One thing I want to learn to do:
                                                 Three sports I like to do
My 3 favorite foods are:
                                                 My favorite flower is:
My favorite drink is:
                                                 If my room could smell like anything it would
Things I like to collect:                        be:

What I like most about myself:                   The music I like best is:

What I want to improve about myself:             My favorite animal is:

When I grow up/in the future I want to:          Pets I’ve had or have:

The best birthday I ever had:                    My most embarrassing moment was:

My favorite color is:                            My favorite class in school is/was:

My best vacation was:                            My siblings are (age/gender/name):

My 3 favorite TV shows are:                      If I could change one thing about myself it
                                                 would be:
My 3 favorite movies are:
                                                 If I could change one thing about the world it
If I could go anywhere right now I’d go to:      would be:

One of my favorite books is:                     I would rather take ___bath or
Three places I’ve lived:
                                                 My favorite ice cream flavor is:

Keep In Mind:
    •    Relationships have ups and downs.
    •    Relationships take time.
    •    Relationships don’t happen by chance.
    •    Relationships are built on trust, consistency, follow-through and
         predictability over time.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles                                         - 35 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles   - 36 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles   - 37 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs
Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles   - 38 –
Volunteer Handbook for Bigs