Big Brothers, Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters coordinator, Patty O'Rourke.

Most people in Door County know me as “Mrs. O’R.”  After a long career as a music teacher and youth orchestra conductor, I moved to Door County with my husband, Patrick, in 1999.  All of our children are four-legged.  I missed working with kids, and became a substitute teacher, primarily at Southern Door, the school district closest to my home in rural Kolberg.  My background in education and my connection to the school was a perfect fit when Big Brothers Big Sisters expanded into Door County with their school-based program at Southern Door in 2012.  I’m currently the Program Coordinator for the entire county, and passionate about my work, and the challenge of finding just the right Big for every Little.  It is rumored that I bleed purple, the color of the BBBS logo, and that I turn into The Wicked Witch of Kolberg for a school fundraiser every October.  My bucket list includes Cajun dancing in New Orleans and scoring 500 points in Scrabble.

Big Brothers, Big Sisters:  Our site based program at Southern Door matches high school students and adults with elementary students, for a weekly meeting of about 40 minutes.  Matches only meet during the school year, but are invited to other events and activities sponsored by our agency.  Their is no cost for participation.  This is not a tutoring program, but Littles may ask their Bigs for homework help.  The program is all about making a new friend, and having a role model. 

Families of potential Littles fill out a permission form, and then I do an interview with the child, just to find out more about them, what they like and dislike, etc.  My goal is always to match a "Little" to a "Big" with something in common, a way to start their new friendship.

Site Based Permission Form for Littles:
- English
- Spanish

Volunteer "Bigs" must apply, provide references, and are also interviewed.  We're very concerned with safety, so a background check is conducted  on all applicants.  Applications for high school students are available in Student Services.

Littles may stay in the program until they are 18 years old, or graduate from high school, whichever comes last.  We try to keep our matches together for as long as possible. 

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have!

Patty O'Rourke
Big Brothers Big Sisters Door County Coordinator
[email protected]