Even though Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa matched 1,700 "littles" with "bigs" last year, 600 children in need of direction and maybe just a kind hand remained on the waiting list, sparking the organization to kick off a push for volunteers on Sunday.
The event featured "bigs" and "littles" at the Glazer Children's Museum in downtown Tampa. It was designed to launch "a new awareness and recruitment campaign to stir dialogue and boost volunteerism in the Tampa Bay community," the organization said.
Organizers used the Umbrellas for Peace initiative to kick off the push.
"Our bigs (volunteer mentors) and littles (children) will spend time discussing their thoughts about peace and helping the community," officials said.
Bigs and littles painted umbrellas at the museum and then showcased the artwork in a walk at noon. Each umbrella represented five local children waiting to be matched with a mentor. Afterward, each child and their mentor or a parent/guardian got to go to the museum for free.