Mr. Speaker, the month of September is Big Brothers Month.
Big Brothers of Canada provides boys from father absent homes with a male role model and a friend. There are 180 Big Brother agencies from coast to coast. Unfortunately, most of them have waiting lists that are almost as long as their list of matched bothers.
Nationally the organization has 9,000 young boys who have been matched with older volunteer brothers and a waiting list of 7,000 boys. In London, Ontario there are 119 matches with a waiting list of 100. That means 100 boys between the ages of 7 and 12 can only hope that they will be matched with an older brother whom they can look up to, spend time with and talk to.
It is today's reality that many children are being raised by single parents but organizations such as the Big Brothers and Big Sisters agencies help to fill the void. During this special month we recognize and thank the Big Brothers volunteers who have helped to make a difference in the lives of many boys simply by giving them the gift of time.