SILOAM SPRINGS (KFSM) —Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Arkansas kicked off a new program Friday (Jan. 25) in Siloam Springs called Bigs with Badges.
It's a nationwide program that connects police officers and firefighters with kids.
There are 50 affiliate programs similar to Bigs with Badges across the country.
Tiffany Hansen with Big Brothers Big Sisters of NWA says there are 24 kids in Siloam Springs alone, waiting to be paired with a big brother or sister.
"Both fire and police, a lot of times, the contacts we have with people always have a negative aspect to them. They are trauma related, there's stress induced in it one way or the other. What this allows us to do is reconnect with that human side, so it feeds us as much as it does the young men or the young lady that we are being a mentor to," Siloam Springs Police Chief Jim Wilmeth told 5NEWS.
"I'm not expecting to change the world but if I can help a guy out and maybe get him on a better path than what he originally was...maybe talk some firefighting or whatever with him, then that's better than sitting on the couch," Chad Fugate with the Siloam Springs Fire Department said.
There are 50 to 60 kids, mainly boys, in NWA that are waiting to get paired with bigs.
Find out how you can be a big here.