Core to who we are, no matter what the world is throwing at us, RedCloud’s community efforts always stay in focus. We believe that a healthy company thrives only when embedded in a healthy community, helping those around us, especially during major times of need. One of our long time community partners, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound (BBBSPS), has continued fostering 1 to 1 “Big” and “Little” relationships even despite the pandemic.
Naturally as we evaluate the pandemic’s impact on our business, we couldn’t help but think about how it is impacting the personal services of BBBSPS. To find out more we recently had a chance to (virtually) sit down with Tanisha Davis-Doss, BBBSPS’s Vice President of Programs and Compliance (and Big Sister!).
RC: How did mentoring change during Covid for BBBSPS?
TD: Due to the dangers of Covid and our commitment to safety, BBBSPS pivoted all mentoring activities to virtual platforms. We encourage our matches to meet via Zoom, Teams, Facetime, and connect frequently through phone calls and text.
RC: What are some of the ways you think the adaptations for COVID protocols might change the way mentoring is done even past COVID?
TD: Virtual platforms have allowed us to reach a wider range of participants. We are able to provide more of our activities to all of our matches regardless of location. Online activities such as board gaming, has also been a successful tool for bonding with matches. I have to admit, it is also super fun!
RC: What were some of the ways that Littles were impacted during COVID that we might not know about?
TD: Isolation and mental health difficulties are some of the most difficult problems right now. Financial strains and food security are the other major issues we have been attempting to assist our families with. COVID also impacts the communities we serve at a higher rate. It has become important for us to provide access to PPE and testing/vaccination information for our families as well.
RC: What are some things that you are looking forward to in the program as reopenings occur and outings resume?
TD: Connecting our matches physically. We have all taken for granted the benefits of physical connection. I am looking forward to the pictures of all of the fun our matches will have once they are allowed to meet in person!
RC: What are some ways others can help your organization at this point? RedCloud is always happy to spread the word about your organization.
TD: We could always use more male mentors, specifically males of color, and more female mentors from the South Sound region. Donations help us as well! It takes roughly around $1500 to match a youth with their mentor. This includes everything from start to finish. Donations help us take kids off of our waiting list!
If you’re interested in supporting the program, click here to make a donation or head here to volunteer your time.