Big Brothers Big Sisters of NWO is closely monitoring COVID-19 through federal, state, and local outlets and are evaluating the situation to ensure the safety and well-being of our Bigs, Littles, staff, and all community members.
With our community’s safety and health as our priority, we will continue to interact virtually with our program participants and community members until further notice. At this time, our office at 424 Jackson Street, 2nd Floor, will be closed to the public.
Our staff will be accessible virtually, via email and phone. Our services will continue to operate during regular business hours (M-F 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM). If you know your party’s email, please reach out directly to them. If you need to reach out to inquire about a contact, please call (419) 243-4600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We encourage our community to utilize resources such as the Ohio Department of Health website for updates and local news as the situation evolves. We will continue to communicate updates to our Bigs, families, corporate partners, and community partners.
I want to thank our Bigs for their commitment to their match during these unprecedented times. BBBS of NWO is committed to guiding our Bigs, Littles, and their families to ensure everyone’s safety. At this moment, we would like to inform you that:
- In-person outings between Bigs and Littles can continue within provided guidelines (see below).
- Virtual Outings are still encouraged.
For Bigs, Littles, and Parents/Guardians who decide to continue in-person outings, the following guidelines must be followed:
Health Considerations: Following CDC guidelines, we do not recommend in-person outings if anyone living in either home:
- has a fever, is sick with a cough or cold, or does not feel well for any reason
- is considered to be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19
- Please exercise increased caution if anyone in either household works in healthcare or has an increased likelihood of exposure to COVID-19.
Decision to Meet
- In-person outings are NOT required at this time.
- Big, Little, and Parent/Guardian must ALL be comfortable to continue in-person outings.
- If anyone is not comfortable with in-person outings, continue connecting virtually.
- All parties involved MUST wear a mask.
- All outing participants should be outdoors, adhere to social distancing guidelines, and stay at least 6 feet apart.
- Please wash and sanitize hands before, during (as needed), and after the outing. Visit the CDC website and learn how to protect yourself.
Choosing Activities/Location of Outings
- Outings should occur in locations that allow for social distancing (outdoors, large, open spaces)
- Regardless of the Little’s age, the outing MUST be approved by the Parent/Guardian ahead of time.
- Always consult with your Program Manager to review the most updated list of Prohibited Activities and receive guidance navigating this matter.
- Day and overnight visits in the volunteer’s home are NOT permitted. This directive includes the home of the volunteer’s relatives and friends.
- The policies regarding these visits are in place to protect the child, family, and volunteer interests and are rooted in best practices for youth mentoring.
- Outings in the Little’s home are NOT permitted.
- If dropping off materials for an outing activity such as arts and crafts, always remember to practice social distance, wear masks, and stay outside of the Little’s home.
- Limit the use of public transportation.
- If the distance between residences and locations is relatively close, bikes and/or walking are highly encouraged.
- Parent/Guardian will transport a Little to meet a Big.
- BBBS of NWO does not encourage Bigs to drive their Littles on match outings.
We know this is a difficult time and understand that there are different comfort levels regarding in-person outings. Our team continues to develop ideas, suggestions, and resources for interactive, meaningful, and creative virtual ideas/outings, easily accessible on our website.
As always, connect with your Program Manager to ensure you are accessing the necessary information and guidance to help you stay connected while practicing social distancing and ensuring everyone’s safety.
Thank you for igniting Ohio’s youth’s potential, and do not hesitate to contact us for any questions, comments, or concerns.
Dr. Marvin Whitfield