I am a Big and have been matched with my little for over 2 years. She has brought so much to our partnership and has taught me much about life. We enjoy learning from each other and I look forward to the time we spend together. This organization strives to introduce youth to mentors who can be a positive influence in their life. From organized group activities to one-on-one time together I have nothing but positive words about BBBS.
I've been a big and my personal experience with my "little" continues to be a great one which has been very rewarding for both of our families. But the disappointing data and troublesome trends for BBBS of SEPA are unfortunately not surprising. In my experience, the organization overreaches on what I assume is most donors expectations: Matching 'littles' with 'bigs' and providing the necessary oversight to protect all involved. It's not understandable how a CEO here could justify a salary of well over $300K for this organization. That there are many volunteers overseeing bigger responsibilities in apparently, a far more efficient manner.
Review from CharityNavigator
Great organization. I am a Big Brother. They did an excellent job of matching me with the perfect Little Brother. We have monthly check-ins with a match support specialist who gives us advice. There are also great activities for us to participate in -- the agency has tickets and discounts for many events. The agency is well run and I've enjoyed my time as a volunteer. (I am also a Board Member, but I'm writing this review about my experience as a volunteer.)
I was divorced and, at the suggestion of a friend, got my daughter and son into the program some twenty plus years ago. Both mentors were wonderful for and to my children, but it was my son's relationship with his "Big Brother", Xico that took on a life of it's own. Xico is from Mexico and Joel was exposed to Mexican traditions and norms, which I thought was such a plus, but that's just a small part of Xico's influence. He impressed upon Joel and insisted that Joel strive to be a better person from behaving at home and school, improving and knowing the importance of good grades necessary for college and supported and attended Joel's sporting events and, when Joel entered college, Xico secured a scholarship from BB for him. When Xico married, Joel was welcomed into that extended family and through the years Joel saw what a good, strong marriage could be and wants his marriage to be that and I'm so grateful. I believe, in my heart, that Joel is the wonderful, confident person he is today in large part because Xico entered his life and is still in it. I can't tell you how many people I've told about the wonderful (and for me, life saving) experience Big Brothers/Big Sisters was.
I wish more people could experience attending an annual Big Brothers Big Sisters award dinner and hear from the Little Brother and Little Sister of the Year about how much they enjoyed the program. Listening to the comments from the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the year really make you aware of how important this program can be in your community for your children.
Having been a Big Sister for over six years, I can truly say that this is a most valuable program for our country. While attending the high school graduation of my Little Sister, I read her positive comments in her yearbook regarding having a Big Sister.
I became a Big SIster when I was 37 years old, after seeing an article in a local newspaper. I've made lifelong friends from attending the various events with my Little Sister, which were held by the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lehigh Valley organization and were of great importance to my Little Sister in many ways: meeting new people, experiencing new places, etc.
Needless to say, if I won the lottery, I would definitely give a big chunk of it to Big Brothers Big Sisters!
Big Brothers Big Sisters is the leading nonprofit in the mentoring field. They offer quality, professional support to their matches and have proven results. The staff believes in what they do and their passion translates into a great experience for volunteers, children, and their families.
Big Brothers Big Sisters has been a tremendous resource for children who need someone to be a consistent, positive role model in their lives. I've seen three girls grow their confidence, education and social abilities thanks to Big Brothers Big Sisters.
This organization brings out the light in children through adults who care enough to say "You can do it." I was matched May of 2007. The program, Native American Scholars, was brand new at BBBS of the Sioux Empire, and created to increase graduation rates among Native students. I felt the program called to me; being Native myself, and struggled through most of life, I could see easily how mentoring could make a difference in a child's life. My Little, Tiffany, has just turned 14, and was quite the firecracker. We had a lot of rough starts; she was from an impoverished and broken family, with minimal hope of overcoming heavy obstacles. If she made it to 12th grade - heck, if she made it to 10th grade - it would be a means to celebrate. To say it bluntly, I had no clue how I was going to help this kid. I had been a troubled youth myself, but under totally different circumstances. Still, four years later, I look back on our time together and she has out-distanced every expectation placed upon her. She'll graduate in 19 days (yes, we're on a daily count-down). She'll be 18 in just over a week. To say that I'm proud of her is putting it mildly; she's watched her friends drop out of school, or get pregnant, or go to jail. More than one has committed suicide. She's gone through juvenile detention, rape crisis, counseling... And yet she'll walk across the stage at her graduation as one of the few high school graduates and the only college matriculator in her immediate family (she'll attend Dakota State University beginning this summer!!!!!). She's made it. She'll tell you she never would have made it this far without me, but that's not true. She always had it in her. If I've done anything, it's that I've pointed out the obvious and been the broken record: "You can do it." My job in all this has been pretty easy. It's Tiffany who has shined. If all a kid needs to hear in life to accomplish goals is "You can do it," then I see no reason why more volunteers can't come forth to help a child realize his or her potential. Big Brothers Big Sisters was the catalyst that connected Tiffany and me together for life. They provided realistic advice that kept our relationship functioning, even through the bad times, and offered valuable resources (counseling, school supplies, test fees, etc.) to Tiffany when her guardians or I were unable. I am thankful for the opportunity they provided.
I became a Little Sister in the program at age 7 in 1985. Having a Big Sister changed my life. Being a child of a single mother struggling to make a living, times were rough. It was hard to concentrate on school when you were worried about what and if you would eat that evening. I was a C student at best and never had any hope of going to college. I was told I was not a good enough student and I defenitley wasn't rich enough to pay for college. My Big Sister gave me the self confidence I needed to succeed and told me I could do anything I put my mind to. Thanks to her I have met many of my goals. Because of my own childhood experience I decided to become a Big Sister myself, hoping to have a positive impact on another child's life. Happily my time as a Big has been just as rewarding, if not more so, than my time was as a Little.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is a wonderful organization and it was my first introduction into the non-profit world. My first experience with a BBBS agency was as a child, my little sister was given a community based "Big Sister" who was always there for her, she introduced her to new things in the community , encouraged her to do positive things, helped her with school work and many other things. Even though this was outside of her duties- my sisters "Big Sister" would sometimes help my family financially. I somewhat forgot about the agency for years after that relationship was established, but as a newly graduated high school senior in 2001, I received my first "real job" at my local BBBS in Gainesville, Fl. I was intake staff, so I was the first line of contact for potential Bigs, Littles, Parents, board members and other community members. Although it was only supposed to be a summer job, I was hired permanently and spent a 7 year career with the agency. I was able to gain knowledge, my professionalism, a look into how the non-profit world works and I was able to see the positive impact that many of the "Bigs" had on their "Littles" and their families. I remember stories from parents of their greatfulness to BBBS for placing their child with such a positive role-model. The Littles often drew pictures of their bigs or told me great things about how happy they were to have their "Big." People don't realize how important it is to just be there for a child who may not have that positive adult figure in their life, they don't realize that a child appreciates and remembers forever all of the new things they are introduced to and the opportunities that are available to them just because they had a "Big." I really valued my time and experiences while working for such a great organization. There alot more things I wish I could say but I will end by saying that Big Brothers Big Sisters is a true asset to the community and our children. I will always be an advocate for this agency and if there's anything someone should remember about this agency, it is this little phrase: Little Moments DO create Big Magic!