LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — More than 265 children are waiting to be matched with a Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass volunteer, according to the organization’s president.
The agency is currently working on processing 30 applications, but are facing difficulties due to restrictions brought about by COVID-19 recommendations.
“Our biggest challenge right now is trying to figure out how we enroll volunteers and get them matched,” said Andrea Ooten, the organization’s president.
The application process includes running a background check on a potential volunteer and conducting an in-person interview. However, social distancing guidelines are forcing BBBS to rethink how to follow their procedure while keeping all parties safe.
“We're trying to be creative, like all nonprofits, and pivot during a really critical time,” said Ooten.
Ooten said options about how to proceed are still being discussed. However, once they speed up that portion of the process, Ooten said the time it takes to be approved may still be longer than normal for other reasons.
“Even if we are able to do those interviews, a lot of our background checks are taking longer to get back because courts across the country are closed and not able to provide that information back to us so things are being delayed,” said Ooten.
However, they don’t want a longer wait time to discourage anyone from applying to become a “Big."
“We don't wanna lose the momentum or the interest of our volunteers who might feel like we don't need them or now. We certainly do. It's just a matter of trying to figure out how we go through that process," Ooten said.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to apply, you can go here.