Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Columbia Gorge finds, trains, and supports mentors for children and teens.

Bowl for Kids’ Sake is Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Columbia Gorge’s largest fundraising event! Learn more about how to get involved for our 2016 event.

Watch this great video about Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Columbia Gorge (4 min).

Volunteer ‘Bigs’ offer friendship and support with the goal of helping their ‘Little’ stay on a healthy path that will lead them to a bright future. These caring relationships help Littles do better in school and at home, and make them less likely to use drugs or turn to violence to solve problems.

Our outreach brochure has more information in PDF form.

How to Become a Big Brother or Big Sister

In Hood River and Klickitat County,

call Justine Ziegler, 541-490-9979

In Wasco County,

call Kateel Muhs, 541-399-0259

The way to change the world is one life at a time.
By becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister, you can help change the world…one child at a time. Volunteers with our program are taking that opportunity—to share, to care, to be a friend—and to guide a child down the right path when he or she may not be sure which way to turn.

Who becomes a Little Brother or Little Sister?
Children in the program come from every community in Wasco, Hood River and Klickitat counties. Many come from single-parent homes, most are between the ages of 6 and 14, and all need a consistent, positive role model.

What is a Big Brother or Big Sister?
The role of a Big Brother or Big Sister is to provide caring, role modeling, and friendship to one boy or girl in our program. This new relationship is good news for a “Little” and something they look forward to each week. Our application process carefully matches the adult’s interests with the child’s and addresses any special needs or circumstances in that child’s life. Time spent could be as simple as just hanging out and talking or going for a ride, or could be an activity that both enjoy like a project around the home, puzzles, games, biking, hiking, baking, movies, fishing, crafts, computers, or going to the library. We have a few “Bigs” who even include their “Little” in family reunions or vacations.

Who can be a Big Brother or Big Sister?
To become a Big Brother or Sister, you must be at least 18 years old and have a driver’s license & an insured vehicle. We also have the option of doing a “couples match” where partners mentor a child together.

How much time does it take?
Our Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and Couples see their Little Brothers and Little Sisters regularly for a total of 8 -10 hours per month for companionship and fun. Our agency requires a minimum one-year commitment and encourages continuing longer. We can support a match until the child graduates from high school. Ideally, you create a relationship that lasts a lifetime.

Who pays for this service?
There is no charge to the children or families who receive services from our agency. Our operating budget comes from county support, program fundraising, individual donations and grants from local and national foundations and businesses.

When is the best time to start?
The best time is now. There are youngsters who are waiting right now and hoping to make a new friend.

Great! I’m ready. How do I apply?
Thank you for your interest in becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister—we are excited about working with you! To become a Big Brother or Big Sister you will:

  • be in good physical health
  • make a one-year commitment to the child
  • commit to regular contact with a child for about 8-10 hours each month
  • work within all program guidelines and cooperate with program staff.

The application process takes several weeks. Once it is completed and you are accepted into the program, we will be looking for just the right Little Brother or Little Sister for you. The volunteer application process includes:

  • a written application including personal references who we will contact
  • consents for legal and motor vehicle records checks
  • an in-home interview
  • fingerprinting
  • & training.

We appreciate your patience and cooperation with this in-depth application process. It helps us to better meet your needs and those of the children by matching you with the most appropriate Little Brother or Little Sister. Over 90% of applicants are accepted and placed on the waiting list to be matched with a Little Brother or Little Sister or sometimes, matched right away.

Please call your local match coordinator listed above, who will answer your questions and send you an application packet.

The need is great, and so are the rewards.

Our Advisory Board

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Columbia Gorge
Advisory Board

Melanie Brown
Big Sister
Board Chair
Wasco County Appraiser

Don Benton
Big Brother
Board Member
Retired Military

Cathy Bourgault
Board Member
Human Resources Professional

Brooke Brown
Board Member
Math and Science Teacher
Hood River Valley High School

Kim Kennedy-Burns
Board Member
Manager at US Bank (The Dalles)

Kirsten Poole
Board Member
Program Director

Dawn Stover
Former Big Sister
Board Member
Professional Writer

Steve White
Big Brother
Board Member

Tim Sweeney
Liaison to The Next Door Board
Hood River Construction