Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Courtney Batten helps James Henry with his flag project
during Big Brothers Big Sisters' Big after-school Buddies
mentoring program in Versailles.
Imagine never having someone to look up to when you were a kid. Imagine not having positive role models who guided you down a responsible path in life. Imagine a community where every child fulfills his or her potential and steers clear of bad decisions. Imagine every child in our county graduating high school and college, and giving back to his or her community.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby and Darke County continues to work hard arranging mentor relationships and developing innovative programs that bring positive role models into the lives of local children. From now until November 28, The Community Foundation of Shelby County is offering a Match Day to celebrate 65 years of community philanthropy in conjunction with the nationwide efforts of Giving Tuesday. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke County is challenged to generate donations that will be matched, up to $5,000, by the Community Foundation.

Match Day presents an incredible opportunity for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke County to infuse support into one of their most popular programs. “All donations received on Giving Tuesday will be utilized for our vital after-school Big Buddies mentoring programs,” said Jennifer Bruns, Executive Director. “Through Big Buddies, high school students are paired with elementary students throughout the county and meet two times per month immediately after school to offer mentoring services to one another. Big Buddies focuses on educational and social enhancing activities, healthy eating, fitness, personal safety, and sustainability.” For the current 2017-2018 academic year, Big Buddies is implementing a curriculum entitled “Earth Friendly Practices” which focuses on reducing waste, recycling, reducing the carbon footprint, pollution, conservation, water and air quality, and other earth-friendly sustainable practices.

The local Big Brothers Big Sisters agency also offers a Community-Based Program and a Couples Match Program. Adults and couples are always needed as matches and volunteers are welcome at any time. “Littles” are typically ages 5 to 16 and have a need for a positive mentoring relationship due to living in a single parent home, having poor school performance, difficulty with family or friend relationships, or isolation. “Mentoring relationships are also beneficial for mentors, not just mentees,” notes Bruns. “Mentors have reported more benefits than costs to being a mentor. Key benefits to mentors included a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment, recognition from others, career and job renewal, and support from their protégés.”

To contribute to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby and Darke County for Match Day, checks must be made payable to The Community Foundation of Shelby County and have “Match/BBBS” noted on the memo line. Giving details, forms, and mailing directions are available on the Community Foundation website at www.commfoun.com or at the organization’s office. Gifts must be received on or before November 28 to be eligible for matching funds.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a non-profit United Way member agency. If you would like more information or to become a volunteer and make a difference in a child’s life, contact the local agency at 937-547-9622 or go to www.bigbrobigsis-shelbydarke.org for more information.

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