Friday, February 5, 2016

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Elkhart County 2013 Volunteers of the Year pose for a photo. Big Brothers Big Sisters recently launched a "one stop shop" website listing all the Elkhart County non-profits that need mentors to work with kids. (Photo Supplied)
Website will connect volunteers to Elkhart County nonprofits

Posted on May 24, 2014 at 8:26 a.m.

Plenty of nonprofits in Elkhart County need adult volunteers to work with kids. 

But people who want to volunteer sometimes get confused about how to do it, according to Stephanie Patka of Big Brothers Big Sisters

Patka said people often confuse her organization with the Boys and Girls Club of Elkhart County. And though the organizations sound similar, they have different missions and different needs for volunteers.

“Just because all of us serve kids doesn't mean we all do it in the same way,” she said.

Now, Big Brothers Big Sisters has created a website listing all the nonprofit mentoring opportunities in Elkhart County. It’s meant to be a one-stop shop for people who want to mentor, Patka said. includes information on Bashor Children’s Home, Ryan’s Place, Five Star and many other organizations and separates them into categories like tutoring, relationship-based and faith-based.

Patka hopes the website will inspire the general public to volunteer. It will also help nonprofits in the area work together, she said. 

“This site will be a way to educate people about what different nonprofits do and a way to get volunteers to the right place,” she said. 

Follow reporter Lydia Sheaks on Twitter at @LydiaSheaks