By Haley Rose 
BELLEVILLE – More than 50 boys in the Quinte area are waiting for a Big Brother.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Prince Edward and Hastings County  is seeking male volunteers to fill that role.
“One hour a week is all that it takes to make the difference in a child’s life,” said Arlene Coculuzzi, executive director of the organization.
The Big Brother and Big Sister program is volunteered-based. Adult men and women are screened, trained, then matched up with a boy or girl who needs a positive role model.
The organization has been part of the community since 1974.
While the volunteers are welcome to give as much time as they can, the program only requires that they give one hour a week. It can be any day of the week, and the meeting with the child can be at school during school hours.
“Lots of children struggle with social issues, bullying and getting along with others,” Coculuzzi said. “By being with someone that’s unbiased and unrelated, sometimes that one hour a week can impact their future goals and aspirations.”
She and her staff try not to let the waiting list for boys who need mentors get very long, she said.
“We are hopeful that within a few months we can find an appropriate match for a (boy) that’s waiting and get the friendship going.”
Coculuzzi said she thinks one of the reasons there is a shortage of male volunteers is how busy everyone is today with family time, work and extracurricular activities.
People often think that an hour a week will not have an impact, but it really does, she said.
To learn how to be a Big Brother, call 613-962-3666 or visit bigsneeded.ca .