Big Brothers Big Sisters Innovate Mentoring During Oklahoma's Coronavirus Outbreak

Wednesday, March 25th 2020, 6:37 pm
By: Justin Shrair

As COVID-19 spreads across the state, organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma are finding creative ways to continue mentoring kids while social distancing.

This is the new normal for Big Sister Lauren Meyer and for little sister Rayna Hill as they try to navigate life without meeting up.

"It’s very hard. We love to spend time together and go on different outings. So, only being able to talk via phone is difficult, but I’m thankful for technology and at least I am able to see her," said Meyer. 

The organization pairs volunteer mentors with kids. Lauren and Rayna have been together for four years.

"It has the therapeutic value of having that consistently. An adult who cares, an adult who doesn't let the child down and who doesn't disappear from their lives," said Nellie Kelly, the Tulsa-area director of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Usually Lauren and Rayna meet up in person

"One of our favorite things to do is go to CiCi’s Pizza. Rayna loves that place. We love doing things outside like going to Sky Zone or Urban Air - all kinds of stuff," said Meyer.

As COVID-19 continues to spread, the Big Sisters Big Brothers have to find more creative ways to meet up by using FaceTime and other apps.

Some mentors are also using phone calls and even exchanging letters.

"It’s tough because as she said, we spend a lot of time together in person, but it’s kind of hard not seeing each other," said Rayna Hill, who is the little sister.

While both Lauren and Rayna say they are able to make it work, they both cannot wait to meet up together in person soon.

"I just hope that she knows that she's always loved and that she has an immense amount of potential. She can go so far in life as long as she works hard," said Meyer.

If you are looking to get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters you can click here. They are also still looking for volunteers.