The demand for such matchups is growing. For the first time in its more than 100-year history, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is actively seeking donations through a nationwide campaign launched last month to help whittle down an expanding waiting list.
About 38,300 children nationwide -- including more than 200 in the Los Angeles area -- are waiting to be paired with adults, a 35% increase from February last year. Many more children are waiting to have their applications processed. In other cases, families decide not to apply when they find out that it can take a year or longer for a match to be made.