For as little as 4 hours a month of your time, you could play a huge role in the life of a disadvantaged young person.  That's exactly what Janelle Guenette, Miss New Bedford 2013 does.   Janelle is the "big", and her "little" is a young area girl.   For more than the past year, Janelle has taken her "little" to her house to play cards, paint or play sports.   Other times they've gone to the movies or clothes shopping.   Janelle's "little" is very lucky.

There are about 120 other area kids between the ages of 7 and 14 who are on a waiting list in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.  Some live in impoverished conditions.  Some others have a parent who is incarcerated.   But whatever their circumstance, they deserve every opportunity that other young people have.  Unfortunately there are not enough Janelle's to go around.

Miss New Bedford told me how rewarding her time with "little" has been.   Each time they are together Janelle tries to instill a positive message in her young friend.  And she pointed out that research has shown that kids who have big sisters or big brothers have more self-esteem, do better in school, and are much less likely to engage in risky behavior.   How else could 4 hours a month be better spent than by giving that gift to a young person.   Child and Family Services of New Bedford is the agency to contact.

Check out the child family services website for more information. Keep in mind, the commitment is only 4 hours a month over a 1 year period.