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Big Brothers Big Sisters changing perspectives, lives

January 8, 2018 - by Ellen Piekalkiewicz

Inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 6 through 18. BBBS develops positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people and the Big Bend community.

For the children and youth served by BBBS in Leon County, school success is an important outcome measure. For example, 82 percent of the mentees have improved/maintained their belief that they would not only graduate high school, but go on to college and graduate.

Additionally, because of BBBS mentor involvement, partner schools are also positively affected. In those partner schools, more volunteers attended and/or volunteered at school-sponsored functions.

Risk factors of youth served

52% - Youth have had or currently have incarcerated parent
89% - Low-moderate income (less than $35K /year)
78% - Youth raised in homes without two parents

Big meets Little

Big Brothers Big Sisters targets the children who need us most, including those living in single-parent homes, growing up in poverty and coping with parental incarceration. BBBS staff work to find a great match between a Big and a Little.

Throughout the match relationship, Bigs and Littles are supported by a BBBS Match Support Specialist to ensure that both adult and child are thriving. In 2017, BBBS met their goal of making 480 matches! In 2018, they have set the goal of making 500 matches, meaning 500 kids will get a Big. Even with this increased goal, BBBS estimates there will still be 500 children on a waiting list in 2018 because there are not enough mentors who sign up to mentor a child.

Make a BIG Impact

Being a Big Brother or Big Sister is one of the most enjoyable things you’ll ever do. Not to mention one of the most fulfilling. You have the opportunity to help shape a child’s future for the better by empowering him or her to achieve. And the best part is, it’s actually a lot of fun. You and your Little can share the kinds of activities you already like to do. Individuals can make an impact by becoming a Big, making an annual contribution, or dropping off used goods at one of our Big Purple Bins, which are placed around town.

Businesses can get involved as annual partners by sponsoring one, or both, of our fundraising events: Bowl for Kids Sake and the BIG Champagne Bash. If you are interested in becoming a Big or donating, please contact Frances MacVicar: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or 850-386-6002

Tallahassee Chamber Business After Hours

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend will be hosting the Tallahassee Chamber Business After Hours on Jan. 18 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at their newly renovated office, 565 E. Tennessee St.

Originally published in the Tallahassee Democrat

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