Carnival celebration honors local volunteers

Sack races, a juggler, jumping castle and dunk tank are just some of the activities that celebrated local children and volunteers at the annual Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities St. Paul Picnic on Aug. 5. Fifty matches gathered at the Battle Creek Pavilion in Maplewood from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for an evening of fun and games. Although the organization has many Big Brothers and Sisters, there are still local children waiting for a caring mentor.

At any given time there are more than 600 children waiting for an adult friend. Many of these children have been waiting up to two years. Big Brothers Big Sisters is seeking new volunteers to meet the increasing local demand. To learn more about becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister, call 789-BIGS or visit

“Being a Big Brother or Sister is a fun and easy way to give to the community,” said Senior Vice President Gayle Gilreath. “You receive much more than you give when you are an active part of a child’s life. You don’t have to be a hero, just interested in spending time acting like a kid.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters pairs adult volunteers with a Little Brother or Little Sister in order to form a rewarding, long-term friendship. Volunteering as a Big Brother or Big Sister is all about flexibility. Community-based “Bigs” meet to do activities with their “Littles” two to four times per month at their convenience. Volunteers are also welcome to partner with a spouse, co-worker, sibling or friend as a Big Couple to support a child.

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mission is to enrich young people’s lives through one-to-one friendships. In 2004, the organization served more than 3,700 children with the help of 3,200 volunteers.

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