Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Featured Post: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff

Length of time you’ve been around: 45 years

Why did you start the organization? What is your goal/mission?
  • Vision: To bring a Big Brother or Big Sister relationship to every child who needs and wants one.
  • Mission:  To help children succeed by matching them with appropriate adult mentors.
  • Accountability: By partnering with parents/guardians, volunteers and others in the community we are accountable for each child in our program achieving: higher aspirations, greater confidence, better relationships, avoidance of risky behaviors and educational success.
  • History: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff (BBBSF) was founded in 1967 by David and Kay McKay. Kay remained CEO/Executive Director of the organization until June 2008. Kelly Elliott is the current CEO/Executive Director.
  • Information: Big Brothers Big Sisters has been in Flagstaff for over 45 years and is a well-established and well-respected organization. BBBSF helps children realize their potential and build their future.

What does your organization primarily specialize in?  MENTORING
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff served 767 children and volunteers in mentoring relationships in 2011. This includes a diverse range of ethnicities and ages within all of our Bigs and Littles.
·         Main Programs:
o   Community Based Mentoring: In this 45 year old mentoring program, Bigs serve as mentors and friends to Littles within the community. Once matched, Bigs and Littles bond by going on outings and doing fun activities together. Bigs and Littles meet for a couple hours a few times a month.
o   School Based Mentoring: Bigs meet one-on-one with Littles in 1st through 5th grade at five local elementary schools. Matches participate in recreational, health and academic activities during the after school session. SBM takes place during the school year with an option to continue your match into the summer months.
o   STARS: In Coconino County there are over 1,300 children with an incarcerated parent. In the STARS program, Bigs are matched one-0n-one with youth in this situation.
o   STEP UP: In partnership with Coconino County Juvenile Court Services, this program matches teens involved in the court system with adult mentors in a group setting. They are introduced to positive people, places and things while their Bigs provide encouragement and friendship.
o   ALL STARS: Matches positive adult mentors with children who have siblings involved in the juvenile court system. This unique group mentoring program offers a variety of activities. Youth can also be matched one-on-one in ALL STARS.
What are you most proud of?
By proving appropriate adult mentors to youth facing adversity, we are making a real impact in our community! A 2009 study conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America found that former Littles, now adults, who were matched for at least one year report that having a Big Brother or Big Sister played an integral role in who they are today by positively influencing their self-confidence, providing stability, changing their perspective on life and pushing them to set higher goals.
o   90% agreed their Big made them feel better about themselves.
o   90% said their relationship with their Big helped them make better choices through their childhood.
o   86% said their relationship with their Big has helped them make better choices throughout their adult life.
o   77% reported doing better in school because of their Big.
o   65% agreed their Big helped them reach a higher level of education than they thought possible.

Do you have any special events coming up? What are they?
  • Zumbathon to benefit BBBSF is Saturday, November 17th from 10-12 at Summit Health and Fitness Club. All proceeds support buying holiday gifts for the Littles in our programs! Cost: $15 Open to the Whole community.
  • Bowl for Kids’ Sake is Saturday, February 23rd. Register your team or lane sponsorship for $250 and make an impact on not just the pins!

Are you looking for volunteers?  Monetary or prize donations?
BBBSF is always in need of volunteer mentors, especially Big Brothers. Boys who want a Big Brother in their life are currently waiting 6-12 months to get matched. You can make a big difference in the life of a child on any schedule; just call 928-774-0649 to find out more.

With nearly 370 agencies across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, each Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliate (including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with its own staff, budget and board of directors. When you donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters, you join our cause and directly support children in your community. No matter how little or big the amount, donating can start making a difference in the lives of young people around you.
Your financial support helps us provide our programs and services in our community — So we can develop more college grads, community leaders and entrepreneurs.
Your financial support starts lots of things, like:
·   Recruiting new Big Brothers and Big Sisters in the Flagstaff and Williams areas
·   Covering the costs of background checks, while ensuring trained professionals match Littles to quality Bigs
·   Enabling proper ongoing supervision and mentor relationship support for every Big, Little and the Little’s family
·   Providing cultural and social activities to enrich the opportunities for children

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