Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to our most frequently asked questions!

I Want to Become a Mentor

To start your process of becoming a Big/volunteer, the only requirements are:

  • You are 18+ years old
  • You live in Toronto
  • You are a legal resident of Canada

During your Build Your Big Bio stage, we will learn more about you, your personality and interests and how you fit into our mentoring programs.

Matches are determined by looking at several factors between the Little and the Big based on:

  • Location – Being within a reasonable travel distance based on the Little’s and Big’s form of travel (no longer than 45 minutes by car or transit)
  • Interests – Having any shared or similar interests to build a relationship upon
  • Personality – Considering how well the Little and Big will work together
  • Availability – Confirming that both the Little’s and Big’s schedules can overlap easily
  • Shared Experiences – Seeing how much of the Big’s past experiences can be beneficial to the Little (who might be experiencing similar things)

All Big 101 sessions are held at limited capacity; the session that you’re invited to is the earliest session you can attend.

All of our matches have a one-year minimum in the program for both Littles and Bigs (excluding extenuating circumstances). Sometimes our matches can last up to 3+ years – depending on the level of support required by the match – and 1:1 matches can often last longer than that.

BBBST works together with you to help pick the best possible match based on all the Bigs/Littles that are within a reasonable distance from you. When a match is found, you’ll be contacted with information about their interests, personality, availability, and why they’re enrolled in BBBST (without breaching confidentiality). If you’re happy with the match, BBBST reaches out to the Big/the Little’s parent or guardian to share the good news! If you don’t think it’s a good match, BBBST can look at other possible Bigs/Littles instead. If you do think it’s a good match, we will go ahead and call them to let them know about you! You’re always our first call (excluding extenuating circumstances).

If you do not live in Toronto, we ask you to consider reaching out to your region’s BBBS instead. However, if you decide you want to continue with BBBST, you must be available to travel longer distances to meet with your Little since you will be matched with a child/youth living in Toronto. Although it is allowed, there is no expectation that a parent/guardian or Little will travel out of Toronto to meet with their Big.

If you have any questions or concerns about the volunteer process please contact

I’m Applying to Become a Mentor Waiting to Be Matched/Rematched

Once you’ve attended a Bigs 101, within a couple of days you’ll receive an email with a link to our application form. Sometimes our emails end up in junk or spam, so please ensure we are added to your Safe Senders list. If you still haven’t received your application, please email to get it re-sent.

We can use your current police check work if it meets the following criteria:

  • Has the additional vulnerable sector screening
  • Completed by the Toronto Police Service (or another local Police force)
  • Checked within the last year
  • Original copy can be kept by BBBST for records

Otherwise if your police check work is older than 1 year or we cannot keep your original copy, a new police check must be completed instead.

If you’re in the process of receiving an acceptance into the BBBST program, you can contact your assessor who completed your Build Your Big Bio. If you don’t know who that is or you don’t have their contact information, reach out to

We have children and youth from across the GTA enrolled in our programs. Bigs’ wait time is often dependent on the number of Littles we have in the area they live in (or are willing to travel to). Most of our Littles live in Scarborough, Etobicoke, and Rexdale. Bigs who live in or are willing to travel to those areas tend to be matched quicker.

If you have any questions about your place on the waitlist, please reach out to and a member of our staff will get back to you shortly.

All training sessions cover the below topics and include an open Q&A for any additional questions:

  • Child Safety (Duty of Care)
  • Key Messages from BBBS of Canada on Mentoring
  • Rules & Guidelines for a Match
  • How to Build Developmental Relationships (using assets adopted from Search Institute)

All volunteers for our BBBST programs require a minimum one year commitment. Any short-term volunteering opportunities are highlighted in our communications which you can keep an eye out for!

If you would like to keep up-to-date on what’s happening at BBBST, send us a message at to sign up for our quarterly newsletter!

I’ve Recently Become a Mentor

BBBST wants to ensure both the Big and Little are happy with their match. When you are presented with a match, we encourage you to take as much time as you need to think about it. If you’re not happy with the match provided, please share any honest feedback which will help BBBST go back and find a better match for you.

When you meet your Big/Little and you don’t think it’s a good match, please let your Mentoring Program Specialist know. They will work together with you to come up with the best solution for everyone. If the solution results in a match closing and you would still like to participate in BBBST’s mentorship program, you will be put back into the matching pool for us to find you a new match.

For Parents/Guardians or Youth [16 Years Old]

The waitlist for a Little’s assessment (Build Your Little Bio) is about 2-3 months. The waitlist for a Little to be matched differs. See “How do you find a match? What do you match based on?” to learn more about the different factors that go into a match. However, due to having a high number of children waiting for a mentor in Rexdale, Etobicoke, North York, and Scarborough as well as a shortage of volunteers in those areas, finding a match generally takes 6 months – 1 year (not including wait time for assessment or enrolment processing time).

Our Littles are either referred to us by other organizations they are involved with, or enrolled directly by their parent/guardian. Although the initial enrolment is the decision of the parent/guardian, when conducting the Build Your Little Bio, we explicitly ask the child/youth whether they want to be a part of the program. If they answer Yes or Willing to Try, we proceed. If they answer No, we do not proceed with their application to be a Little.

About the Vulnerable Sector

A “vulnerable sector” refers to specific groups of individuals within the community who may be at an increased risk of harm or exploitation. Those apart of vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, or people with disabilities. At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto, we require all volunteers, students and staff to complete a vulnerable sector check to provide support and mentorship to children in our programs who are considered apart of this vulnerable group. 

A vulnerable sector check is a type of police check that goes beyond a standard criminal record check and completes a more in-depth review of an individual’s background to ensure you are suitable to work with vulnerable individuals. 

Completing a vulnerable sector check does not automatically “put you in the system” in a negative way. The completion of this check requires Toronto police to review your background to determine if you have a criminal record or any relevant history that should be disclosed, when working with vulnerable populations. The purpose of this vulnerable sector check is to protect the safety and well-being of those you will be mentoring.

At your scheduled “Build your Big Bio” appointment, you will meet with your intake specialist, who will guide you through the process of completing your VSC right in our office. 

To complete your VSC, you will need to bring with you two pieces of identification that includes an M postal code, your Social Insurance Number (SIN), and a credit card for any associated fees. Your intake specialist will provide you with the necessary forms and assist you in filling them out, and any next steps. It is important to note that VSC results is sent directly to you, the volunteer, and not BBBST. This is done to ensure your privacy and confidentiality. 

If you have any questions regarding the delay of your VSC or to follow up on the status of your application, you can reach out directly to Toronto Police Department at the following contact information:


Phone: 416-808-8244 – can be reached Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding statutory holidays.

For specific information about the process to obtaining vulnerable sector, you can also reach out to Enrolment Toronto at: They will provide you with the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding the process, requirements and any other questions.

It is important to note that when obtaining a VSC, volunteers are typically required to provide identification that includes an M postal code from the City of Toronto. However, we understand that some volunteers may live outside the City of Toronto or may not have an M postal code on their identification.

If your ID does not have an M postal code, or if you are living outside the City of Toronto. You will need to obtain a VSC in your city of residence. Different municipalities and regions may have their own procedures and requirements for background checks. Our agency will provide you with a letter of volunteering. This letter will support you in the process of completing your VSC in your city of residence.

Not all applicant will be required to get fingerprints done. In some cases, Toronto Police may require volunteers to provide fingerprints as part of the screening process. We understand that this additional requirement comes with associated fees. If this case, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto will provide a letter waiving the required fingerprint fee for Toronto police.

If required to complete fingerprints for your screening process, please connect with Enrolment Toronto for assistance. They can help ensure that you have all the necessary information and documentation to completing your vulnerable sector check.


Your donation is critical in connecting children and youth facing adversity (Littles) with a caring and consistent adult mentor (Bigs). Our 2022 Impact Genome study shows that 90% of youth experience improved social and emotional skills as the result of our mentorship program. This result can have a significant and long-lasting impact on youth in terms of mental health, academic commitment and civic engagement. Further, every dollar invested in the mentoring program of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto (BBBST) generates $23 in social return of investment providing an invaluable impact, not just for youth but for our broader society. 

Monthly donations are critical in providing Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto (BBBST) with a stable source of funding for our life-changing programs. This will help us to reach even more children, youth and communities in need.  Even a small monthly gift will make a large impact. Please join our valued team of monthly supporters today.

There are several exciting ways to get your colleagues to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto  (BBBST).  We suggest: 

  • Hosting a 3rd Party Fundraising Event such as hosting a potluck, bake sale or games day in the office. 
  •  Hosting a Lunch & Learn or Bigs 101 session to inform your coworkers of the amazing work we do at Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Toronto and/or engage them in volunteering with us or donating. 
  • Employee Matching: Have your work match your volunteer hours as a donation, or your end of year gift. 

For more information or to get started, email us at    

Our Accounting Administrator, Donna Isenor is happy to assist you with a donation over the phone during business hours. You may reach Donna directly at 416-925-8981 ext. 4122.   


You may also send a donation by cheque to the address below: 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto 

501 – 2345 Yonge St Toronto ON Canada M4P 2E5

We are appreciative of your desire to give back support to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto. For those who are unable to make a donation, we welcome you to consider becoming a Volunteer Mentor with us. With a commitment of just 2 hours a week, you can have a transformative impact in the life of a child and help a community in Toronto thrive. 

Donating stocks to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto (BBBST) will enable us to have a transformative impact on our youth and communities. This type of giving is beneficial to donors in that you are not required to pay capital gains tax on your gift.  You will also receive a tax receipt for your donation. Please contact our Director, Fund Development, Kara Spedding at

Leaving a gift in your Will to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto (BBBST) will allow your legacy of generosity to last forever. It will help transform your passion for helping children, youth and communities into part of your life story.  In addition to providing tremendous support in allowing BBBST to continue our life changing work, your gift will also help to reduce taxes on your estate after death. Your gift can support a specific program within Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto or help assist with our highest priority needs. Please contact our Accounting Administrator, Donna Isenor at  and/or your financial institution to learn more.

Yes, all donations from individuals will receive a charitable tax receipt from BBBST. Online donations will be receipted immediately, and donations made by cheque or EFT will be receipted in-house and mailed to the donor.  Funds received through sponsorship or from foundations will receive an acknowledgment letter.

Our Charitable Registration Number is 106793771RR0001.