An open house will be Tuesday for the public to meet the staff of the revamped Oneida County Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. The event will be held at the Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce from 2 to 3 p.m.
Oneida County did have a Big Brothers/Big Sisters chapter which was centered in Minocqua and associated with the Park Falls office but that operation had a hard time serving the entire area.
“It was run by Lois Ruediger who really kept it going,” Mary Kinnunen, marketing director for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Northwoods said. “But it just became overwehlming.”
That is when the group reached out to the Big Brothers/Big Sisters chapter in Eau Claire.
“We asked them to adopt us,” Kinnunen said. “They have a dymanic staff and resources and expertise that we need. This is a fantastic opportunity.”
The new group is looking for volunteers and board members.
“Board members meet twice a year,” Kinnunen said. “They really keep things running.”
Volunteers require more of a time commitment but can make a big impact in a childs life.
“Studies have shown that children in Big Brothers/Big Sisters, compared to peers in similar situations, the results are better school work, less risky behavior and better social skills,” Kinnunen said.
She added mentors are paired with children of similar interests and receive professional training and support.
“Our volunteers also go through a thorough background check,” Kinnunen said. “We call co workers, friends.”
For information about how to volunteer Monday during the announcement.