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 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
Jul 24, 2018
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
hillsborough County
Bryan Glazer Family JCC
522 N Howard Ave
Tampa,
FL 33606
Big Orientation & Training
Jul 24, 2018
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
pinellas County
Clearwater Chamber of Commerce
600 Cleveland St., Suite 204
Clearwater,
FL 33755
Big Orientation & Training
Jul 24, 2018
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
polk County
BBBS Polk Office
1231 E. Orange Street
Lakeland,
FL 33801
Big Orientation & Training
Jul 24, 2018
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
hernando County
Spring Hill Library
9220 Spring Hill Drive
Spring Hill,
FL 34608
Big Orientation & Training
Jul 25, 2018
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
pinellas County
Green Bench Brewery
1133 Baum Ave. N.
St. Petersburg,
FL 33705
Big Orientation & Training
Jul 26, 2018
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
sumter County
Belvedere Library
325 Belvedere Blvd.
The Villages,
FL 32162
Big Orientation & Training
Jul 31, 2018
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
pasco County
Wesley Chapel Honda
27750 Wesley Chapel Blvd.
Wesley Chapel,
FL 33544
Big Orientation & Training
Aug 4, 2018
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
pasco County
New Port Richey Public Library
5939 Main Street
New Port Richey,
FL 34652
Big Orientation & Training
Aug 7, 2018
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
sumter County
Belvedere Library
325 Belvedere Blvd.
The Villages,
FL 32162
Big Orientation & Training
Aug 8, 2018
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
hillsborough County
Yogurtology Carrollwood
12460 N Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa,
FL 33618
Big Orientation & Training
Aug 8, 2018
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
pinellas County
St. Anthony Carillon/BayCare
900 Carillon Parkway
St. Petersburg,
FL 33716
Big Orientation & Training
Aug 8, 2018
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
polk County
Women’s Resource Center
165 Avenue A NW
Winter Haven,
FL 33881

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

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.

4 Rivers Smoke House

14330 N. Dale Mabry & 623 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa

844-474-8377

https://4rsmokehouse.com/

FREE meals for Bigs and Littles.

Two meals per visit (one for Big and one for Little) with drinks and dessert.

Offer valid at both Tampa locations

 

Astro Skate

750 W. Robertson St., Brandon

813-681-3635

http://brandon.astroskatingcenter.com/

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

 

Beef O’Brady’s

4516 S. Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa

813-837-5200

https://www.beefobradys.com/SouthDaleMabry

10% off the purchase of two meals.

 

Dinosaur World

5145 Harvey Tew Rd., Plant City

813-717-9865

https://dinosaurworld.com/

Big pays regular admission & Little receives FREE regular admission. This includes Fossil Dig for ages 3-12

 

MOSI – Museum of Science & Industry

4801 E. Fowler Ave, Tampa

813-987-6000

https://www.mosi.org/

Big pays regular general admission & Little receives $4 general admission

 

Pin Chasers Midtown

4847 N. Armenia Avenue, Tampa

813-750-0524

http://pinchasers.net/locations/midtown/

Big purchases one bowling game, Little gets one round FREE

 

Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA

813-224-9622

https://www.tampaymca.org/

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.

 

TreeUmph

21805 E. State Road 70, Bradenton

941-322-2133

https://www.treeumph.com/

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. 

 

Wheel Fun

Hillsborough River State Park in Thonotosassa, 813-987-6771

http://wheelfunrentals.com

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.  

Airheads

12401 Belcher Road, Largo

727-953-7254

http://pinellas.airheadsusa.com/

One hour of Jumping for $10/guest or two hours of Jumping for $18/guest. One slice of pizza and one small soft drink $2.50/guest

 

Astro Skate

875 Cypress Street, Tarpon Springs

727-938-5778

http://www.tarponsprings.astroskatingcenter.com/

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

 

Clearwater Community Sailing Center

1001 Gulf Blvd., Clearwater

727-517-7776

http://www.clearwatercommunitysailing.org/

Tandem kayak rentals for only $10/hour

 

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

249 Windward Passage, Clearwater

727-441-1790

https://www.seewinter.com/

Bigs can bring their Little to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and purchase a 1 year membership for $45. They must show their photo ID and Match ID at the ticketing window. This membership must be purchased in person. This membership also includes:

  • Free general admission to CMA
  • Free or discounted admission to area attractions » www.seewinter.com/get-involved/become-member/reciprocals
    • Free admission to Mote Marine Laboratory, Tampa Museum of Art and Great Explorations Children’s Museum (must attend together)
    • 50% off admission to Florida Aquarium, MOSI, Nashville Zoo, Glazer Children’s Museum, and more (must attend together)
  • Discounts on CMA boat tours, kids camps, birthday parties and other events
  • Invitations to CMA Member Only events
  • 10% discount in the gift shop

 

Great Exploration Children’s Museum

1925 4th Street North, St. Petersburg

727-821-8992

https://greatex.org/

FREE entry to the museum for Big & Little

 

Liberty Lanes

11401 Starkey Road, Largo

727-397-3947

https://libertylanesbowling.com/

Bigs & Littles enjoy 2 hours of bowling for only $9.00. This includes: lane rental, ball, and up to 4 pairs of shoes.

 

Menchies Frozen Yogurt

196 37th Ave. North, St. Petersburg

727-329-8822

http://www.menchies.com/frozen-yogurt-shops/frozen-yogurt-northeast-park-fl

Bigs & Littles receive 20% off each purchase

 

Subway

33338 US Hwy 19 N., Palm Harbor

312 East Lake Rd., Palm Harbor

2610 Bayshore Blvd., Dunedin

http://www.subway.com/en-us

Purchase one 6” sub & 21oz drink for Big and receive a FREE 6” sub for Little. Available at the location listed ONLY.

 

Sunken Gardens

1825 4th Street North, St. Petersburg

727-551-3102

http://www.stpete.org/attractions/sunken_gardens/index.php

FREE entry for Big & Little

 

Wheel Fun

Fred Howard Park in Tarpon Springs, 727-709-3610

Lake Seminole Park in Seminole, 727-709-3322

Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin, 727-260-5503

Best Western Yacht Harbor Inn in Dunedin, 727-733-4121

Safety Harbor Resort & Spa in Safety Harbor, 727-726-1161

Magnuson Hotel Marina Cove in St. Petersburg, 800-227-8045

Merry Pier in St. Petersburg, 727-360-1400

http://wheelfunrentals.com

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.  

 

X-treme Fun Center

13211 93rd Street N, Largo

727-584-9876

http://xtremefuncenter.com/

One hour of Laser Tag or Batting Cages for $10/guest or two hours of Laser Tag or Batting Cages for $18/guest. One slice of pizza and one small soft drink $2.50/guest

 

YMCA of the Suncoast

727-467-9622

https://www.ymcasuncoast.org/

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.

CiCi’s Pizza

4271 Florida Ave. S., Lakeland

863-644-4477

https://www.cicis.com/locations/fl-lakeland-4271-s-florida-ave

When Big buys a meal and drink the Little receives a FREE meal and drink.

 

Denny’s

Any Location

https://www.dennys.com

Purchase one entrée for Big & Little under 10 years old will receive a free meal.

Only available on Tuesday from 4PM-10PM

 

Explorations V Children’s Museum

109 Kentucky Ave., Lakeland

863-687-3869

https://explorationsv.com/

FREE entry for Big & Little

 

Family Fun Center

4825 Florida Ave. S., Lakeland

863-644-1728

http://thefamilyfuncenter.com/

Buy one get one FREE on mini golf, laser tag, or Vault Assault laser maze. Discounts for Funtasia Play Area.

 

Palace Pizza

114 S. Kentucky Ave., Lakeland

863-688-0045

http://palacepizzadowntown.com/

Bigs & Littles receive 10% off their meal.

 

Theatre Winter Haven

210 Cypress Gardens Blvd., Winter Haven

863-294-7469

http://www.theatrewinterhaven.com/

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  

 

YMCA of West Central Florida

863-644-3528

http://www.ymcawcf.org/

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.

 

YMCA Par 3, Home of The First Tee of Lakeland

1740 George Jenkins Blvd., Lakeland

863-577-0236

http://www.thefirstteelakeland.org/

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.

YMCA of the Suncoast

727-467-9622

https://www.ymcasuncoast.org/

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.

YMCA of the Suncoast

727-467-9622

https://www.ymcasuncoast.org/

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.

Florida Hospital Center Ice

3173 Cypress Ridge Blvd., Wesley Chapel

813-955-4840

http://www.floridahospitalcenterice.com/

Big pays for themselves and the Little receives free admission and skate rental

 

Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA

813-224-9622

https://www.tampaymca.org/

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.

 

YMCA of the Suncoast

727-467-9622

https://www.ymcasuncoast.org/

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.

GatorWorld Parks of Florida

492 W. Highway 44, Wildwood

352-462-9500

https://www.gatorworldparks.com/

FREE admission for Little when Big purchases regular adult admission

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 “Volunteer” 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.