Dozens of Iowa children are hoping to get a big brother or big sister for the holidays. Althea Holcomb is C-E-O of Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Central Iowa, which is hunting for volunteer mentors. There are now 127 children on the waiting list just for central Iowa, the majority of them are boys. Holcomb says the non-profit group is in need of good male –and female — mentors to step up and help make a difference in the lives of children, through their guidance, support and friendship.Holcomb says studies have found that children who are matched through Big Brothers-Big Sisters see improved self-confidence, improved academic performance, avoidance of substance use and improved relationships with peers, families and other adults. While time is always a concern, she says this program will not sap too much time from the mentors. She says it’s a very flexible opportunity, just a couple of hours a month, whenever it’s convenient for the mentor and the match. For more information, surf to “” for central Iowans, or call your local chapter of Big Brothers-Big Sisters.