HONOLULU (KHON2) — As COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease, more organizations are scaling back on their regulations, like Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii.
Dennis Brown. the president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii, said like many organizations they had to pivot at the start of the pandemic.
“That term that everybody has used in business, for profit, non-profit, called pivot, is what we all did,” Brown said.
According to Brown, the organization prides itself on helping children and youth achieve their full potential by introducing a responsible adult in the lives of children ages 6 to 16 to mentor them.
“It’s interesting because delivering a model that is based on in-person interaction, basically, and that’s the whole idea was something that required us to really shift as many people did and go virtual,” said Brown.
However, due to the pandemic, mentors were not allowed to go on in-person outings; instead, they had to come up with creative ways to keep their child engaged through digital platforms.
“In the early stages it was highly successful because what had happened was the pairs — we call them matches — met more often,” said Brown.
Brown said many big brothers and sisters would hold weekly Zoom or FaceTime calls with their mentees and drop off projects to do together.
However, now that restrictions are easing up and more people are getting vaccinated, Brown said in-person outings have continued.
“We are still in this mold where the child will ride in the back of the seat of the car, they both wear masks, and the activities are all outdoors now. But now that people are getting vaccinated and the older youth, especially the teens, the ones older than twelve that are vaccinated, they are going to movie theatres and doing things like that, so it is quite a transition and a real learning experience,” said Brown.
If you want to get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii, click here to find more information.