ST. CLOUD -- January was National Mentoring Month, and a local organization is urgently looking for volunteers interested in mentoring St. Cloud area youth.

Last month, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota launched their “Be Big in 22” recruitment campaign to address a need for volunteers. The organization says there is a large need for Big Brothers as boys typically have to wait longer than girls to be paired with a mentor.

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Across the country, 66 percent of the kids on the Big Brothers Big Sisters waiting lists are boys, while only 36 percent of the participating mentors are men. The campaign includes asking for referrals from current and former volunteers, hosting various recruitment events, community outreach, and adding new mentoring initiatives to change those statistics locally.

BBBS is partnering with SCHEELS for Sports Buddies, a program for Littles ages 8 to 16 that meets once or twice per month for sports-related activities. The organization also works with St. Cloud State University for the Bigs on Campus program that meets twice each month to introduce mentees to on-campus life and post-secondary education. The "Be Big in 22" campaign runs through March 31st.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota currently has over 100 kids waiting for a mentor.

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