There are many ways to be part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters family

It takes a “Big” and “Little” to make a Big Brothers Big Sisters match that changes a kid’s life forever. But it takes a village to make this service possible.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Island County is looking for volunteers to help with events, decorate trees for their Festival of Trees, serve as board members and more.

“We match hundreds of children each year with caring adults and I am lucky enough to see what a huge difference the relationships make in those kids’ lives. Our Big Brothers and Big Sisters are among the most dedicated volunteers that I have ever come across. But it takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work to make this program possible,” said Michaela Marx Wheatley, BBBS South Whidbey site director.

BBBS puts on a number of community events to raise money for their programs and the agency needs some volunteers who are willing to pitch in –- especially leading up to their main fundraiser in early December, where decorated Christmas trees and wreaths are auctioned.

“For the past seven years, our tree decorators have done a fantastic job trimming our evergreen masterpieces for the auction,” Wheatley said. “Some longtime decorators will retire this year and we are looking for new talent.”

Decorators need to come up with a theme and find the decorations for their creation. They also need to be available the week after Thanksgiving to decorate their tree at the venue.

Longtime decorators and tree committee co-chair women Verna Lawsen and Barb Enberg are happy to share their expertise.

“It’s a fun and creative activity for a group of friends, a garden club or other organization and they could share the end result with the community,” Wheatley said.

Not a creative mastermind, but still love decorating trees? You could be a helper or apprentice and join one of the team leaders.

BBBS also needs help with other aspects of the event, like serving on the auction committee, procuring auction items, or helping with set-up or tree delivery.

BBBS could use reliable office help, as well as people willing to serve on its board of directors. Other ways to get involved include being a mentor, donating auction items, sponsoring an event, making a donation or sharing a special skill with matches during a match activity.

If you want to get to know the organization, be part of one of its upcoming events. Bowling teams will roll today, May 19, at the annual Bowl For Kids’ Sake in Oak Harbor. Nominate your pet for this year’s Mayor of Whidbey campaign, running from August to election day in early November. Or attend the Festival of Trees on Nov. 30 in Oak Harbor and Dec. 1 in South Whidbey.

To volunteer, contact 360-221-6808 ext. 5417 or Visit


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