For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. As the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 6 through 18, in communities across the country. We develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. 

Volunteer to be a consistent presence in a child's life.  Laugh and enjoy their company, inspire confidence, and provide guidance while meeting in person or online.  For 40 years, serving all of Santa Cruz County. More than 8,000 youth and counting...


We make every effort to assure that you are matched with a Little who shares your interests so that your relationship will be rewarding and mutually beneficial. Your Little can come from a variety of backgrounds and economic levels, but that is what will make your relationship so unique.

Imagine the impact you can make with your advice and friendship. Although their schedules are sometimes hectic, Bigs say the time spent with their match is one of the most rewarding events in their life. Best of all, you will help your Little find the positive self-esteem all children deserve to have.

While we ask for a commitment of 1 year, many matches stay matched for several years.  We have even had Bigs and Littles stay in the program after the Little went to college!  Each match gets to decide for themselves when the right time to exit the Big Brothers Big Sisters program is right for them.

BBBS is an inclusive organization. We always accept all genders and sexual orientations.  Our professional staff screens, interviews, and trains every volunteer.


Volunteer for a few hours, two to four times a month, hanging out with a child/youth that just needs a friend. Play ball, garden, have a bonfire at the beach, barbeque, picnic in the woods, go see a movie; whatever will be fun for you both! You will help your Little grow through some of the most impressionable years of their life.

Volunteers say the time spent with their Littles is one of the most rewarding parts of their life. Best of all, you will support your Little’s positive self-esteem that all children deserve to have.



Fill out an online application OR Call the agency at 831-464-8691 or email to contact a staff member with any questions.


Who are the Bigs in the program?

Our Bigs come from diverse backgrounds just like our Littles. They are regular people, just like you. You don’t need any special degrees or job skills. You just have to want to positively impact a young person. Role models come in all shapes and sizes, and you could be a perfect fit.

When can I see my Little?

As a Big/Little team, you decide together what you want to do and then your Little gets approval from his or her parent. We recommend that you keep a consistent schedule of outings and get together on a regular basis. Your local agency will provide more guidance on this. The outings will also depend on the comfort level of your Little’s parents, your Little, and you.

How much money should I spend?

The quality of the time you invest with your Little is more important than the amount of money you spend. That’s why we don’t encourage spending a lot of money on your outings. The goal of the relationship is to help your Little see the world through a different lens so you can inspire your Little to become something they never thought possible. If you are going to spend money, we encourage you to seek out low-cost activities, especially in the beginning. Play a game together, or share that pizza that you were going to have for lunch anyway. Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies offer donor-supported group activities that are a great way to meet other Bigs and Littles. As a Big, you may also receive notices for free tickets to cultural and sports activities for you both to enjoy.

What are some good ideas for outings with my Little?

Share an activity that gives you something in common to talk about. Go to the library, check out a book and read together. Buy a comic book to read together. Play a board game. Go on a nature walk. Hit a bucket of golf balls at the local driving range. Take a ride in the car with the radio on and talk about the music you like. You want to select activities that give each of you a chance to learn more about one another. For children, playing can be learning. Most important: keep it simple and enjoy yourselves!

Can I bring my spouse, a friend, or a family member on outings?

In the beginning it’s most important for you and your Little to get to know each other. This can happen best on a one-to-one basis. However, over time it’s also valuable for your Little to get to know the people who are important to you. Just keep in mind that if you’re spending lots of time with others, your Little may begin to feel jealous or neglected. The main focus is the friendship you develop with your Little.

What kind of support can I expect from Big Brothers Big Sisters once I get matched?

Once you are matched with your Little, a Match Support Specialist from the agency will be in regular contact with you to provide assistance and give feedback. Any time you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, you will have a Match Support Specialist there to help. They’ll help you with ideas for activities, guidance for handling possible difficult situations, and feedback on how you are making a difference.

Will I become a replacement parent?

No, Littles have a parent or guardian in their life already. What they need is a Big to spend quality, one-on-one time with them. Someone to have fun with, someone they can confide in, someone like you!