|Big Brothers Big Sisters helps at-risk children beat the odds. Through the generosity of a variety of funding sources including individual donors, corporations, governmental entities, and foundations we have the resources necessary to carry out our mission, which includes conducting background checks on volunteers to ensure child safety. Donor support also allows us to provide ongoing support for children, families, and volunteers to build and sustain long-lasting relationships, which are key to successful mentoring. Big Brothers Big Sisters is proven by independent research to improve children’s odds for succeeding in school, behaving nonviolently, avoiding drugs and alcohol, and breaking negative cycles. We serve an average of 475 local children each year.
Independent research shows Big Brothers Big Sisters has a measurable, positive impact in children’s lives. A nationwide study of BBBS Community and School-Based programs show youth in community programs:
And youth in school-based programs:
Community-Based Mentoring: traditional Big Brothers Big Sisters one-to-one mentoring, a few hours a couple of times a month.
School-Based Mentoring: weekly, one-to-one mentoring that takes place at school.
Workplace-Based Mentoring: twice monthly one-to-one mentoring in the workplace.
In 1904, a young New York City court clerk named Ernest Coulter became disturbed at how many boys he was seeing coming through his courtroom. He recognized that some caring adult guidance might be the answer to keeping them out of trouble. Ernest recruited 39 volunteers who each agreed to befriend one boy. At the same time, the New York Ladies of Charity were befriending girls who had come through the New York Children’s Court. The effort was a huge success and by 1912 the New York Times reported Big Brother activity in 26 American cities. Five years later, in 1917, the first national conference of Big Brothers Big Sisters was held in Grand Rapids, MI. Today, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mercer County (BBBS Mercer) is the local affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Since our founding in 1973 by a group of educators and concerned citizens, we have positively impacted the lives of local at-risk children, ages 6-18, by recruiting and vetting very special committed adults in our community to become trained, personal mentors and role-models to children who need guidance and someone to believe in them. Although BBBS Mercer receives stringent professional guidelines and outcome reporting systems from our national headquarters, we receive no funding from them and are completely dependent on corporate, foundation and individual donors in our area for the quality of our mission.
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