Big Brothers Big Sisters sees increase in volunteers looking to combat negativity with mentorship

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Big Brothers Big Sisters is on track to having a record breaking year. Volunteers are saying that they’re hoping to change their community one person at a time

Brandon Glover first met Tim Styles last week when he joined Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Tim described him as tall and buff. Brandon is a first time big, but he’s had a lifetime of experience.

“I’m a little brother. I’ve got two brothers,” he said of his siblings who he called inspirational. “I want my chance to be a big brother.”

Because of the recent shootings and a personal death, he said he wanted to do what he can to give back.

“I had a friend that got shot senselessly about two months ago. That really pushed me a little bit further. I know that he would want me to do that. He did it for his community,” he said.

Some of the current events are driving people through the doors of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Scott Cruce, the director of volunteer recruitment at BBBS, said volunteers are finding ways to combat the negativity with mentorship.

“This year we already have 550 people that have signed up just through July 20th. We’re well on the way to breaking last year’s record,” Cruce said. This year, BBBS is on track to recruiting nearly 900 volunteers. That’s almost double this year than last.

But the need sometimes outpaces the success. There more than 500 still waiting for a big. One of those is Tim’s older brother of just 24 seconds, Tommy.

“It means everything. I can’t wait to meet my big brother,” said Tommy, who has been on the list for two weeks now.

Brandon considers both boys his little, but says Tommy deserves his own big just as much as his brother.

“You can’t go halfway, especially when you’re dealing with a young kid’s life. You got to make sure you do it correctly,” he said.

FOX 4 also reached out to Boys and Girls Club. They are also seeing an uptick in volunteerism.