Individuals currently involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Wood Buffalo share their experiences!


“I moved to Fort McMurray in 2017 after only living in big cities my whole life (Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary). The way this community welcomed me and made it a priority to give back in some way. One day I heard a radio promotion that the BBBS was in a big need for volunteers and had a wait list of children looking for mentors. At the time my wife worked long site hours, I had no friends yet and this sounded like the perfect way to give back in a meaningful way. After the thorough application process I was matched with Mason, an energetic 8 year old boy who loved playgrounds, sports and being adventurous. A perfect match for me and my thirst to explore everything Fort McMurray had to offer. We went to the golf course, arcade, rock climbing wall, swimming pool, bike trails, skateparks, ski hill and more! My first impression of Mason was that he was unbelievably polite, caring and selfless. It truly was a perfect match. We meet once every two weeks for half a day. Our eagerness to be active only fuelled each other’s souls and before I knew it Mason turned 13 years old. He’s now a young adult, taller than me! I believe in the givers gain, essentially the more you give the more you get. Being a member of BBBS has been incredibly rewarding and I believe volunteering has brought a wealth of good luck into my life. Mason encourages me to constantly be the best version of myself without asking. I’m proud to be a role model for Mason but appreciate that he does just as much for me as I do for him. He’s so thoughtful and such a bright part of my life. I would highly recommend that anyone with the spare time join BBBS. You’ll get everything out of it that you put in.” – Jeff, Big Brother

“I decided I would volunteer as a Big Sister because I imagine how positively my life would have been affected by spending time with a Little. I’ve been matched to Stephanie for almost half a year and we’ve had a lot of adventures and I’ve learned a lot about myself. Not only did I discover the joy in sharing time with a Little, but also the reward when they learn something new from me, have an awesome day or just feel comfortable chatting about topics that they might not with their parents. I just try to be a listening ear and a safe place for her. We’ve been trick or treating at the horse stables, attended hockey games, visited Vista Ridge for a fun Arctic Games session, checked out outdoor art exhibits and visited the candy store (repeatedly!). She’s gotten me out of my comfort zone, which I am grateful for. I’m not particularly active, but I view our time together as personal development – both mental and physical. I’ve been swimming, rock climbing, climbing all over every playground in town. She challenges me in so many ways. And there are so many things we’ve done that I normally would have stayed home and missed out on that are happening in the community – fairs, exhibits and festivals. I’m really looking forward to seeing more in the community this summer with my Little. It has also given me a topic to discuss with my friends with children! The joys, the fears, the lessons and more! Another huge aspect that makes it rewarding for me is to know not only does it benefit me and my Little, but also her family. I know how grateful her mom is that my Little has me as a friend and someone who can take her away for a few hours a week to enrich her life and give her family time to attend to things they may not have thought they had time for before. I never realized just how many people are positively affected by my participation as a Big. It’s much, much more than just the Little who benefits.” –Holly, Big Sister

“I recently started with Big Brothers Big Sisters in October and becoming a mentor is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am a big kid at heart and love to do all the fun things with my mentee, seeing the joy in her face when we have our weekly meetings is such a rewarding feeling and I am so thankful to have such an influence in her life. Aside from doing fun things, I try to mention key lessons and knowledge that will be beneficial to my little, such as the importance of being kind, how to help with our environment, and how to be a leader. It is important for me as a mentor to teach my mentee valuable things while also having fun and our match is a perfect balance of both! I am so glad I joined this program and never knew someone so little could have such an influence in my life as a big. I love being a big because seeing the smile on my littles face makes being a mentor so worth it! I love doing all the fun things with my little and she definitely keeps me on my toes!” -Big Sister


“One of the most rewarding part of my week is spending time with my little brother. We ski, snowboard, skate, run, hike, play soccer and constantly challenge each other with new activities! It’s a lot of fun staying active with my bro and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Sharing a meal, movie and countless stories is something I truly look forward to.” – Big Brother


“I love big brothers big sisters because it gives me the opportunity to make a difference in a young person’s life while giving me the drive to be at my best.” – Community Based Program Mentor