Big Brothers Big Sisters is an organization that matches volunteers with children to mentor them, giving them a sense of having an older sibling, even be there as an outlet for them. Jamie Quarles has been a mentor with them for three years.
"I seek that out with some older mentors and whatnot, and I'm 34. And so I think it's really important that a ten, eleven-year-old also has those same resources," said Quarles.
Being there for a child, and spending time with them as they go through life's experiences, can make a big difference as they grow.
Even during this pandemic, the bigs have made sure they continue supporting their littles; from sending handwritten letters, helping with school work, and even doing arts and crafts over FaceTime together.
"Especially during this pandemic time, we all need someone there. You know, someone - and not necessarily a parent, not necessarily a teacher. Just an additional resource, an outlet," said Quarles.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is looking to recruit more volunteers; there are close to 160 kids waiting to be matched with a big brother or a big sister.
Quarles said it's a truly rewarding experience. As an assistant basketball coach at UB, he's asked his co-workers about volunteering.
"I think we have a lot of folks here, right here in athletics, that would really benefit and would be great mentors."
You can find information for volunteering here.