Big Brothers Big Sisters continues to have impact

Big Brothers Big Sisters is the oldest and largest youth mentoring program in the United States. It pairs adults with children in an effort to provide positive role models.

In Columbus, Big Brothers Big Sisters operates under the umbrella of Foundation for Youth.

You might know these facts.

However, if you have ever wondered about the impact that being a Big Brother or a Big Sister can have on a child’s life, consider the story of Michael LeBauer and Thomas Hobbs. Then consider the possibility that you might be well-suited to be a Big and should volunteer your time to help a child.

They were paired in 1990, when LeBauer was 24 and Hobbs 14. LeBauer worked at Cummins but wanted a chance to be a kid. Hobbs was headed in the wrong direction — making bad choices and even getting in trouble with the law; he needed a good male role model in his life.

During their time together, LeBauer showed Hobbs an entirely new world — exposing him to activities, places and foods Hobbs had not experienced. Most importantly, LeBauer became a friend.

The positive influence rubbed off. Hobbs graduated from high school, served in the Marine Corps, earned a college degree in industrial engineering and now works in Columbus for a manufacturing company.

Their story is an example of why people should consider supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters, either through fundraisers like the annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake, or by being a Big.

The contribution an adult makes might seem small at the time, but the potential payoff is huge.

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For more information about Big Brothers Big Sisters in Bartholomew County, call 812-348-4558 ext.217 or go online at