be a big

BECOMING A BIG IS EASY

1
BIG 101
Attend a 90-minute Orientation & Training session
2
APPLY
Submit an application at the orientation (including references)
3
INTERVIEW
Complete an interview and undergo a Level II background check
4
VISIT
Meet your new potential Little
5
CONFIRM
Let the fun begin!

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay is committed to ensuring its programs are inclusive to all youth and volunteers. Equality, diversity and inclusiveness are critical components of our mission. We encourage volunteers of all sexual orientations, races, colors, religions, genders, gender identities, gender expressions, ages, national origins, disabilities, marital status or military status to get involved and become a defender of potential in our community. Together, let’s clear a path to a child’s biggest possible future.

BIG PROGRAMS

We understand that your time is valuable, so we’ve created two unique programs to become a Big in your community. Learn more about our Site and Community based programs to fit within your needs below.

SITE-BASED

In this program, volunteers meet with their Little Brother or Little Sister one hour a week at a nearby school or after-school site. (Check with your employer; some businesses encourage staff to volunteer by offering to pay for volunteer time.)  We ask for volunteers to commit to at least 12 months in this program, but most stay in the program nearly twice that long!
Learn More

COMMUNITY

This program allows you the opportunity to pick up your Little Brother or Little Sister at the child’s home and spend time engaged in activities you both enjoy in the community. Outings can range from going for a walk, working on arts and crafts, taking a bike ride or watching a sporting event. Through partnerships, our agency also provides free or reduced-priced tickets to our Bigs and Littles to various events in the community. In the Community-Based program, volunteers spend at least eight hours with their Little each month, typically in the evenings or on the weekend.
  • Big Couple: where a committed couple can mentor a Little Brother together, sharing the responsibilities and commitments while also serving as an example of a happy, healthy relationship.
  • Sports Buddies: where we match a Big and a Little who share a love of playing and watching sports. We have great partnerships with our local teams and can often offer free tickets to our Sports Buddies.
  • Foster care: where we match a volunteer mentor with a child who has been placed in foster care.
Get Started

Orientation and Training schedule in your county

Big Orientation & Training
Dec 3, 2019
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
hillsborough County
Bloomingdale Regional Public Library
1906 Bloomingdale Ave.
Valrico,
FL 33596
Big Orientation & Training
Dec 3, 2019
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
polk County
Women’s Resource Center
165 Avenue A NW
Winter Haven,
FL 33881
Big Orientation & Training
Dec 4, 2019
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
sumter County
Belvedere Library
325 Belvedere Blvd.
The Villages,
FL 32162
Big Orientation & Training
Dec 7, 2019
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
pasco County
New Port Richey Public Library
5939 Main Street
New Port Richey,
FL 34652
Big Orientation & Training
Dec 9, 2019
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
pasco County
WellCare, Southgate Shopping Center Plaza
5113 US Highway 19
New Port Richey,
FL 34652
Big Orientation & Training
Dec 10, 2019
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
hillsborough County
Yogurtology Carrollwood
12460 N Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa,
FL 33618
Big Orientation & Training
Dec 11, 2019
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
pinellas County
St. Anthony Carillon/BayCare
900 Carillon Parkway
St. Petersburg,
FL 33716
Big Orientation & Training
Dec 12, 2019
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
hernando County
Hernando YMCA
1300 Mariner Blvd.
Spring Hill,
FL 34609
Big Orientation & Training
Dec 12, 2019
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
hillsborough County
USF Marshall Center (MSC3302B)
4103 USF Cedar Cir.
Tampa,
FL 33620
Big Orientation & Training
Dec 14, 2019
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
pinellas County
BBBS Pinellas Office
918 W. Bay Drive
Largo,
FL 33770
Big Orientation & Training
Dec 14, 2019
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
hillsborough County
Bryan Glazer Family JCC
522 N Howard Ave
Tampa,
FL 33606
Big Orientation & Training
Dec 14, 2019
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
polk County
BBBS Polk Office
1231 E. Orange Street
Lakeland,
FL 33801

STORIES OF IMPACT

Jeff, Alison and Micheal
Big Couple
Read More
Jim and Devin
Community Based
Read More
Shandra & Ver’Shayin
Community Based
Read More

Can’t be a Big? We can still use your help!

We are always in need of quality volunteer and Intern help. Please contact us if you are interested in spending a few hours pitching in on various projects & events. You can check our events calendar or contact Josh Hagg, JoshH@BBBSTampaBay.org, for details

Big Perks

In order to take advantage of BIG PERKS, an array of discounts given our Bigs and Littles through corporate partnerships, you will need to bring your Match ID card with you and present it at the time of purchase. Discounts are subject to change and participation may vary.

Hillsborough County

4 Rivers Smoke House

14330 N. Dale Mabry & 623 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa
844-474-8377
Big Perk
Big purchases one meal and Little gets one meal FREE. Offer valid at both Tampa locations
Visit Website
Hillsborough County

Astro Skate

750 W. Robertson St., Brandon
813-681-3635
Big Perk
Big pays full regular admission & Little gets FREE regular admission. This includes skate rental for the Little. Only available during these skate sessions: Saturdays 12:30PM-6PM & Sundays 1PM-5PM
Visit Website
Hillsborough County

Astro Skate

875 Cypress Street, Tarpon Springs
727-938-5778
Big Perk
Big pays full regular admission & Little gets FREE regular admission. This includes skate rental for the Little. Only available during these skate sessions: Saturdays 12:30PM-6PM & Sundays 1PM-5PM
Visit Website
Hillsborough County

Bet You Can’t Escape

7901 Benjamin Road, Tampa
813-290-0009
Big Perk
Big pays discounted price of $15 and Little gets in FREE
Visit Website
Hillsborough County

Dinosaur World

5145 Harvey Tew Rd., Plant City
813-717-9865
Big Perk
Big pays regular admission & Little receives FREE regular admission. This includes Fossil Dig for ages 3-12
Visit Website
Hillsborough County

Great Exploration Children’s Museum

1925 4th Street North, St. Petersburg
727-821-8992
Big Perk
FREE entry to the museum for Big & Little
Visit Website
Hillsborough County

Little Greek

Big Perk
FREE kids meal with the purchase of an adult meal (dine-in only). This perk is available at the following locations: Apollo Beach - 243 Apollo Beach Blvd, Apollo Beach; Carrollwood - 15225 North Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa; Fowler - 2548 East Fowler Ave, Tampa; New Tampa - 19022 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, Tampa; Riverview - 10173 Big Bend Rd, Riverview; South Tampa - 1155 South Dale Mabry Hwy, Suite 3, Tampa; Valrico -  3474 Lithia Pinecrest Rd, Valrico; Westchase - 12117 W. Linebaugh Ave, Tampa; Westshore Mall - 165 Westshore Plaza F6, Tampa
Visit Website
Hillsborough County

MOSI – Museum of Science & Industry

4801 E. Fowler Ave, Tampa
813-987-6000
Big Perk
Big pays regular general admission & Little receives $4 general admission
Visit Website
Hillsborough County

Pin Chasers Midtown

4847 N. Armenia Avenue, Tampa
813-750-0524
Big Perk
Big purchases one bowling game, Little gets one round FREE
Visit Website
Hillsborough County

Sky Zone

Any Location
Big Perk
Buy one 90 minute jump session and get one 90 minute jump session FREE. Offer is only valid for open jumps and cannot be used for specialty programs. Offer only available Monday-Thursday. Offer expires June 30th, 2019. Coupon must be shown in the park to redeem. https://bbbstampabay.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/BBBS_Coupon.jpg
Visit Website
Hillsborough County

Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA

813-224-9622
Big Perk
FREE access to all Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA locations when you attend with your Little. You will have access to the swimming pools, water parks (at select locations), basketball courts, Kids Zone, Teen Center, wellness center, and more! An application can be obtained through your Match Support Specialist.
Visit Website
Hillsborough County

TreeUmph

21805 E. State Road 70, Bradenton
941-322-2133
Big Perk
Buy one get one FREE access. Limit one per person. Call the office & mention you are with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay to setup the excursion.
Visit Website
Hillsborough County

Wheel Fun

Hillsborough River State Park in Thonotosassa
813-987-6771
Big Perk
Bigs and Littles can enjoy FREE unlimited rentals together through their new Biking Buddies program. Rentals include multi-passenger surrey quadricycles, cruiser bikes, pedal boats, kayaks, stand up paddle boards, and recumbent four-passenger Deuce Coupe bikes! Show your match ID card to receive your free ride vouchers, good for one rental per person per day. Not valid on holidays.
Visit Website
Pinellas County

Airheads

12401 Belcher Road, Largo
727-953-7254
Big Perk
Big pays full for a regular attraction & Little gets a FREE regular attraction. One slice of pizza and one small soft drink $2.50/guest
Visit Website
Pinellas County

Clearwater Community Sailing Center

1001 Gulf Blvd., Clearwater
727-517-7776
Big Perk
Tandem kayak rentals for only $10/hour
Visit Website
Pinellas County

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

249 Windward Passage, Clearwater
727-441-1790
Big Perk
Big purchases admission at full price and their Little gets in FREE
Visit Website
Pinellas County

Liberty Lanes

11401 Starkey Road, Largo
727-397-3947
Big Perk
Bigs & Littles enjoy 2 hours of bowling for only $9.00. This includes: lane rental, ball, and up to 4 pairs of shoes.
Visit Website
Pinellas County

Little Greek

Big Perk
FREE kids meal with the purchase of an adult meal (dine-in only), This perk is available at the following locations: 4th Street - 1052 4th Street North, St. Petersburg; Gulf to Bay - 2245 Gulf to Bay, Clearwater; Largo - 10801 Starkey Road, Largo; Palm Harbor - 320 East Lake Road, Palm Harbor; Ulmerton - 3700 Ulmerton Road Suite #107 Clearwater
Visit Website
Pinellas County

Sky Zone

Any Location
Big Perk
Buy one 90 minute jump session and get one 90 minute jump session FREE. Offer is only valid for open jumps and cannot be used for specialty programs. Offer only available Monday-Thursday. Offer expires June 30th, 2019. Coupon must be shown in the park to redeem. https://bbbstampabay.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/BBBS_Coupon.jpg
Visit Website
Pinellas County

Subway

33338 US Hwy 19 N, Palm Harbor
Big Perk
Purchase one 6” sub & 21oz drink for Big and receive a FREE 6” sub for Little. Available at the location listed ONLY.
Visit Website
Pinellas County

Subway

312 East Lake Rd., Palm Harbor
Big Perk
Purchase one 6” sub & 21oz drink for Big and receive a FREE 6” sub for Little. Available at the location listed ONLY.
Visit Website
Pinellas County

Subway

2610 Bayshore Blvd., Dunedin
Big Perk
Purchase one 6” sub & 21oz drink for Big and receive a FREE 6” sub for Little. Available at the location listed ONLY.
Visit Website
Pinellas County

Sunken Gardens

1825 4th Street North, St. Petersburg
727-551-3102
Big Perk
FREE entry for Big & Little
Visit Website
Pinellas County

Wheel Fun

Big Perk
Bigs and Littles can enjoy FREE unlimited rentals together through their new Biking Buddies program. Rentals include multi-passenger surrey quadricycles, cruiser bikes, pedal boats, kayaks, stand up paddle boards, and recumbent four-passenger Deuce Coupe bikes! Show your match ID card to receive your free ride vouchers, good for one rental per person per day. Not valid on holidays.
Visit Website
Pinellas County

X-treme Fun Center

13211 93rd Street N, Largo
727-584-9876
Big Perk
Big pays full regular price for laser tag or batting cage tokens & Little gets FREE laser tag or batting cage tokens. One slice of pizza and one small soft drink $2.50/guest
Visit Website
Pinellas County

YMCA of the Suncoast

727-467-9622
Big Perk
FREE access to all YMCA of the Suncoast locations when you attend with your Little. You will have access to the swimming pools, water parks (at select locations), Kids Zone, Teen Center, wellness center, and more! A member engagement form can be obtained through your Match Support Specialist.
Visit Website
Polk County

CiCi’s Pizza

4271 Florida Ave. S., Lakeland
863-644-4477
Big Perk
When Big buys a meal and drink the Little receives a FREE meal and drink.
Visit Website
Polk County

Denny’s

Big Perk
Purchase one entrée for Big & Little under 10 years old will receive a free meal. Only available on Tuesday from 4PM-10PM .
Visit Website
Polk County

Explorations V Children’s Museum

109 Kentucky Ave., Lakeland
863-687-3869
Big Perk
FREE entry for Big & Little
Visit Website
Polk County

Family Fun Center

4825 Florida Ave. S., Lakeland
863-644-1728
Big Perk
Buy one get one FREE on mini golf, laser tag, or Vault Assault laser maze. Discounts for Funtasia Play Area.
Visit Website
Polk County

Little Greek

4756 S. Florida Ave Lakeland, FL 33813
Big Perk
FREE kids meal with the purchase of an adult meal (dine-in only)
Visit Website
Polk County

Palace Pizza

114 S. Kentucky Ave., Lakeland
863-688-0045
Big Perk
Bigs & Littles receive 10% off their meal.
Visit Website
Polk County

Sky Zone

Any Location
Big Perk
Buy one 90 minute jump session and get one 90 minute jump session FREE. Offer is only valid for open jumps and cannot be used for specialty programs. Offer only available Monday-Thursday. Offer expires June 30th, 2019. Coupon must be shown in the park to redeem. https://bbbstampabay.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/BBBS_Coupon.jpg
Visit Website
Polk County

Theatre Winter Haven

210 Cypress Gardens Blvd., Winter Haven
863-294-7469
Big Perk
Buy one ticket for a Big and your Little gets in FREE. To redeem, simply select seats to a TWH event online and prior to checkout apply code: BBBS
Visit Website
Polk County

YMCA of West Central Florida

863-644-3528
Big Perk
FREE access to any YMCA of West Central Florida location when you attend with your Little. You will have access to the swimming pools, racquetball courts, and wellness equipment (depending on the age of your little and upon completion of our youth certification class.) The guest waiver form can be obtained through your Match Support Specialist.
Visit Website
Polk County

YMCA Par 3, Home of The First Tee of Lakeland

1740 George Jenkins Blvd., Lakeland
863-577-0236
Big Perk
FREE access when you attend with your Little. You will have access to the nine-hole golf course. The guest waiver form can be obtained through your Match Support Specialist.
Visit Website
Citrus County

Sky Zone

Any Location
Big Perk
Buy one 90 minute jump session and get one 90 minute jump session FREE. Offer is only valid for open jumps and cannot be used for specialty programs. Offer only available Monday-Thursday. Offer expires June 30th, 2019. Coupon must be shown in the park to redeem. https://bbbstampabay.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/BBBS_Coupon.jpg
Visit Website
Citrus County

YMCA of the Suncoast

727-467-9622
Big Perk
FREE access to all YMCA of the Suncoast locations when you attend with your Little. You will have access to the swimming pools, water parks (at select locations), Kids Zone, Teen Center, wellness center, and more! A member engagement form can be obtained through your Match Support Specialist.
Visit Website
Hernando County

Sky Zone

Any Location
Big Perk
Buy one 90 minute jump session and get one 90 minute jump session FREE. Offer is only valid for open jumps and cannot be used for specialty programs. Offer only available Monday-Thursday. Offer expires June 30th, 2019. Coupon must be shown in the park to redeem. https://bbbstampabay.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/BBBS_Coupon.jpg
Visit Website
Hernando County

YMCA of the Suncoast

727-467-9622
Big Perk
FREE access to all YMCA of the Suncoast locations when you attend with your Little. You will have access to the swimming pools, water parks (at select locations), Kids Zone, Teen Center, wellness center, and more! A member engagement form can be obtained through your Match Support Specialist.
Visit Website
Pasco County

Chef It Up To Go

25024 Hyde Park Blvd, Land O' Lakes
813-943-3102
Big Perk
Big & Little receive $10 OFF any of their public classes. Sign up at https://squareup.com/store/Chefitup2gotampabay/
Visit Website
Pasco County

Florida Hospital Center Ice

3173 Cypress Ridge Blvd., Wesley Chapel
813-955-4840
Big Perk
Big pays for themselves and the Little receives free admission and skate rental
Visit Website
Pasco County

Little Greek

Big Perk
FREE kids meal with the purchase of an adult meal (dine-in only). This perk is available at the following locations: New Port Richey - 9818 Little Road, New Port Richey; Trinity - 3032 Little Road, New Port Richey
Visit Website
Pasco County

North Corner Ranch

12508 Tyler Run Ave, Odessa
727-215-5485
Big Perk
Littles & Bigs can schedule a meet & greet with Storm the horse. Contact Anne Ridge at 727-215-5485 to schedule. The meet & greet can be customized for the Little's interests with grooming, stall cleaning, washing, riding demo, etc.
Visit Website
Pasco County

Sky Zone

Any Location
Big Perk
Buy one 90 minute jump session and get one 90 minute jump session FREE. Offer is only valid for open jumps and cannot be used for specialty programs. Offer only available Monday-Thursday. Offer expires June 30th, 2019. Coupon must be shown in the park to redeem. https://bbbstampabay.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/BBBS_Coupon.jpg
Visit Website
Pasco County

Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA

https://www.tampaymca.org/
813-224-9622
Big Perk
FREE access to all Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA locations when you attend with your Little. You will have access to the swimming pools, water parks (at select locations), basketball courts, Kids Zone, Teen Center, wellness center, and more! An application can be obtained through your Match Support Specialist.
Visit Website
Pasco County

YMCA of the Suncoast

727-467-9622
Big Perk
FREE access to all YMCA of the Suncoast locations when you attend with your Little. You will have access to the swimming pools, water parks (at select locations), Kids Zone, Teen Center, wellness center, and more! A member engagement form can be obtained through your Match Support Specialist.
Visit Website
Sumter County

GatorWorld Parks of Florida

492 W. Highway 44, Wildwood
352-462-9500
Big Perk
FREE admission for Little when Big purchases regular adult admission
Visit Website
Sumter County

Sky Zone

Any Location
Big Perk
Buy one 90 minute jump session and get one 90 minute jump session FREE. Offer is only valid for open jumps and cannot be used for specialty programs. Offer only available Monday-Thursday. Offer expires June 30th, 2019. Coupon must be shown in the park to redeem. https://bbbstampabay.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/BBBS_Coupon.jpg
Visit Website

FAQs

How much time does it take to be a Big?

4 to 8 hours a month, depending on the program. In our Site-Based program, you visit your Little for one hour each week during the school year, typically during his or her lunch hour. To realize all of the positive impacts our relationships can incur, we ask for a 12-month minimum commitment in this program. In our Community-Based program, we ask for a minimum of 8 hours a month, which typically equates to two outings each month taking your Little outside their home to engage in some type of activity, typically in the evenings or on weekends. We also offer a Sports Buddy program, which centers around watching and participating in sports, and a Big Couples option, where you and your spouse or significant other share the mentoring experience. We ask for a minimum 15-month commitment in all of our community-based programs.

What’s required to be a Big?

You must:

  • Agree to honor the minimum commitment (12-15 months, depending on the program) and have the time each week/month to see your Little.
  • Successfully pass a Level 2 background check (including fingerprints and driving record.) There is no cost to applicants for the background check.
  • Have a valid driver’s license, auto insurance and appropriate transportation for children (for Community-Based volunteers.) For Site-Based you must have reliable transportation to get to your mentoring site even in inclement weather.
  • Present a Social Security card or W2 tax form.
  • Complete the enrollment process, which includes attending an Orientation & Training session (for the schedule in your county, got to bbbstampabay.org and follow the “Be A Big” links). At the end of the orientation, you will be asked to complete an application (including three references). Approximately a week later you will be asked to participate in a one-on-one personal interview.

What kind of kids do we help?

We initially match children between the ages of 5 and 13 (although once matched they remain in the program through high school graduation). Most of our Littles come from families living below the federal poverty line, while many come from single-parent homes, or have a parent incarcerated or a parent in the military who is deployed elsewhere. We work hard to match you with a child within 15 minutes of where you live that shares your interests and hobbies.

Will I have help?

Absolutely. Every Big and Little “match” is assigned to work with one of our professional staff members, called a Match Support Specialist, who is there to help you overcome any challenges, answer any questions, help you with ideas on match outings and otherwise support the match in any way possible. We host many events for our matches that are free to attend, and we will work with you to help develop skills to become a more effective mentor.

So what is the first step?

Check out the Orientation & Training schedule for your county and just show up. No RSVP required. You’ll learn all about our programs, commitments, expectations and our kids.