Lehigh Valley

Big Brothers, Big Sisters needed in the Lehigh Valley

VIDEO: Big Brothers Big Sisters needed

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Hundreds of kids came together Wednesday, all of different ages, from areas all across the Lehigh Valley and they all have something in common; they are in need of a mentors and friends.

"There's about 300 kids across the valley that are waiting for our services so we started this waiting list club in order to meet that need," says Susan Bartels, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Lehigh Valley.

The children who gathered Wednesday are a part of the “waiting list club.”

Because they don't have individual mentors they do activities in a group setting, like making pizza, making ice cream, and, on special occasions like this one, learning about animals from the Lehigh Valley Zoo.

But many still want to be “adopted” by mentor.

"I like to play basketball, football, and ping pong," says 9-year-old Kaiden.

"I just want to be a mentor in their lives," says Lou Direnzo, "it's been a pretty rewarding experience so far."

Direnzo just joined the program.

He says he wanted to volunteer because he felt blessed in his own life.

Men like Direnzo are important because the program is in desperate need of male mentors.

"Being a Big Brother or Big Sister means you spend two to four times a month with a child and you're paired up one to one," says Susan Bartels.

It's a commitment that means a lot to each of these kids, someone they can count on, to talk to, to learn from.

A buddy, kids like Kaiden, can't wait to meet.

"I'd be so excited" says Kaiden.

To learn more about how to become a Big Brother or Big Sister log onto: http://www.bbbslv.org/

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