By Sylvia Gonzalez
MIDLAND - Big Brothers/Big Sisters in Midland is building a new facility. The 5,000 square foot building has been in works for the past two years. Staff members are happy it has finally become a reality. However, one thing that is overcasting their joy is the lack of volunteers because this means more children will be put on a waiting list.
"Our program last year grew by 20 percent and that means that we need a lot more volunteers," Kay Crites, Executive Director at Big Brothers/Big Sisters, said.
She tells NewsWest 9 this has been the biggest increase they have seen in a decade. Currently there are 93 children ready to have a big brother or sister assigned to them but Crites fears the list will only get longer since school has already started.
"That number will start going up dramatically now that school has started because school counselors will begin referring children to us also," Crites said.
Crites says they are doing everything they can so people can volunteer for their organization.
"We are putting together a recruiting plan as we speak. We put up posters around town, we have yard signs that we are asking people to put up in their yards to promote our organization. We are addressing organizations, we are just reaching out in every way we can," Crites said.
Crites mentions with the influx of people to the area. Many of the newcomers don't know there is a Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program in Midland and that's why it's important to spread the word of this organization .
"There are so many new people coming to Midland. There are still a lot of people who don't know we are here and that affects both sides of the equation. There are people out there with children who can benefit from our program who don't know we're here and then there are volunteers who think this might me a good fit for them," Crites said.
A new office is in the works to open up in Big Spring but they too need volunteers to get the program started.
"They are looking for volunteers to help them get that program off the ground, to help get the money raised to get it started and they are also looking for people who might be willing to donate and help them reach that $125,000 goal," Crites said.