Never underestimate the power of giving

It’s fair to say we’re all pretty broke, and sometimes it’s just not possible for us to dole out money to charities, even though we’d love to. But it doesn’t mean we can’t help out a little.

One of the most rewarding ways to give to charities is by giving our time, not our money. The Big Brothers, Big Sisters programme is possibly one of the best examples of how volunteering can be rewarding. And it just so happens the 2010 annual campaign has kicked off this week.

The campaign, which aims to pair up children and teens with volunteers aged 18 years and over, has now been running for a decade in Ireland, with its roots having been grounded in Mayo, Roscommon, and Galway.

Leading the campaign in the Westmeath area is Aisling Walsh, who is looking for ever more volunteers to carry on the great work that has already been established.

Requirements on any of those looking to get involved include a Garda vetting, which once approved continues with an interview to discuss what is required from the volunteer, prior to being matched with a suitable little brother or sister.

Anyone wishing to apply must be able to spare one to two hours a week to spend time with the partnered youth. Activities range from shopping, going to gigs, or even just chilling out at the local centre. Creating a safe and secure environment is a key part to the Big Brothers Big Sisters organisation, which is why a minimum commitment of one year is required from all applicants.

There have been plenty of heart warming stories of big brothers and sisters forming meaningful and lifelong relationships with their little brothers and sisters. This programme is invaluble to our local community and something we should all think of doing just once in our lives.

It’s a chance for us all to share the wealth of human experience we have gained, and perhaps polish our sibling skills.

Anyone wishing to volunteer or get more information about the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization can do so by contacting Aisling Walsh on (086 ) 8596879 or by logging on to


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