Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Central Minnesota, Inc.

Rating: 4.23 stars   13 reviews 1,646

Address:

15 Sixth Ave N St. Cloud MN 56303 USA

Mission:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota serves children by providing one-to-one professionally supported mentoring relationships.

Programs:

Big brothers big sisters of central minnesota is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that believes that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. We provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Proven results! Big brothers big sisters of central minnesota serves five-counties: stearns, benton, sherburne, morrison, and the northern tier of wright county. We provide service to over 750 children each year and target those that need us most. Our littles (children) include those: living in single parent homes, growing up in poverty (65% of the children we served last year were from households below 200% of federal poverty guidelines), dealing with a mental health diagnosis; and coping with parental incarceration. In addition, many of the children in our program have a developmental disability, have been bullied, and/or struggle academically or socially. Safety is our utmost concern. The littles and bigs are carefully matched only after the bigs have been thoroughly screened and trained, and the littles strengths, needs, vulnerabilities, and interests have been identified and addressed. Through our careful, professional matching, we are confident that their one-to-one relationship will be life-changing, giving our littles an advantage in life that they previously did not have. Our professional staff, along with our littles and their parent/teacher/guardian identify unique goals for each child that their big can help them accomplish. Through our careful, professional matching, we are confident that each child's one-to-one relationship will positively impact their lives by starting them down a path to an even brighter, more promising future. By serving as a mentor, role model, and friend, bigs positively contribute to the child's social, emotional, and character development. We have three different programs to fulfill our mission, they are:community-based mentoring: this is the traditional mentoring that most people think of when they think of big brothers big sisters. Littles are matched with bigs who spend time with them in the community and/or in their homes. Bigs are able to transport the littles and attend events, games, go shopping, etc. These long-term relationships are built by being together once per week for two+ hours doing something they both enjoy. School-based mentoring: the littles and bigs meet at the child's school during school hours, spending one to two hours per week together - shooting hoops, reviewing homework, having lunch, playing board games, doing crafts, etc. School-based mentoring allows us to serve a far greater number of youth facing adversity with a greatly increased pool of potential mentors due to a more adaptable time commitment and a convenient meeting site. This initiative offers the opportunity for high school students to be mentors and is supported by business participants. Site-based mentoring: this opportunity assists school-age youth who are in a high-need, targeted community or neighborhood. These relationships occur once a week for one or more hours at a central and public location within that community/neighborhood, such as a community center or boys & girls club. This program allows youth facing adversity to interact with their big at a facility that is close to home, safe, and familiar. We continue to reach out to youth who need us the most. We have specific funding that has been awarded to us for mentoring children who: are from military families, have a mental health diagnosis, have a physical disability, and/or have incarcerated parents, as well as underprivileged girls. We provide guidance, training, and services to youth who serve as mentors (high school "bigs") in our program. Big brothers big sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between volunteers ("bigs") and children ("littles"), ages 5 through 18. We develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. We hold ourselves accountable for each child in our program achieving:*higher aspirations, greater confidence, and better relationships*avoidance of risky behaviors*educational success big brothers big sisters works with other community members/organizations for solutions to common challenges. We believe that families are best served when the resources of the broader community are leveraged; creating a wide network of support that goes beyond the abilities of one existing agency. Our agency continually works in collaboration with other youth/family serving organizations such as boys & girls clubs, boy scouts, girl scouts, blend, law enforcement agencies, school districts, etc. , creating effective, systemic change. We also refer the services of other area agencies in the best interest of the child and/or family. Such recommendations may include counseling services, social services, and intervention services. Recent awards/recognition*in 2014 we established the brianna kruzel growing up big award to honor brianna kruzel, a former little sister and high school big sister (award winner), who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in september 2013. We awarded brianna posthumous in 2014 and ryan goman in 2015. * in 2015 we had the following state award winners:our community-based "big brother of the year" ryan ross our "site-based big brother of the year" jacob shrode our "high school big sister of the year" kia grindland* in 2013 we received the bob dayton quality mentoring award for innovation from the mentoring partnership of minnesota. * big brothers big sisters was named the #1 nonprofit for at-risk youth by guidestar's philanthropedia (sept. 2011), earning philanthropedia's top ranking on a list of most recommended, high-impact national nonprofits serving at-risk youth. "the nation's leader in quality, one-to-one youth mentoring, big brothers big sisters received praise for its effective mentoring model that leads to positive and measurable youth outcomes for children who face adversity, as well as for its organizational leadership and community outreach. " * our local agency is one of six organizations in the state that has "expert" status from the mentoring partnership of minnesota

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
Write a Review
Donate
Invite Reviews Share This Nonprofit

More Info

(320) 253-1616
www.bbbscentralmn.org

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Reviews for Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Central Minnesota, Inc.

Rating: 1 stars  

Not happy with the leadership at BBBS. I have been waiting for a BIG for my daughter over 14 months and continue to hear all about the Magic Moments Ball advertising that raises substancial amount of money and I wonder where the dollars go? I see the director having dinners/lunches with various people and promoting her husbands' business. Not happy!

Was your donation impactful?

Unlikely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Unlikely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Unlikely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
Flag review
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ vision is to provide successful one-to-one mentoring relationships for all children who need and want them. Volunteer mentors nurture and inspire children through positive life experiences that will impact the children’s lives forever.

Big Brothers Big Sisters strives to improve the quality of life for children and their families. Education & life skills development are priorities within this organization. Big Brothers Big Sisters understands that education and access to it are instrumental in building communities. "Littles" (children who are being served) who have been matched in Big Brothers Big Sisters' mentoring program for 18 months or longer are eligible to apply for the Annexstad Family Foundation Scholarship, a 4-year, renewable scholarship, which picks up any costs that financial aid does not cover. What a great opportunity for the youth they serve!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
Flag review
Review from JustGive
Rating: 5 stars  

My experience with BBBS of Central MN as a Big Sister has been excellent. They originally came to my workplace to introduce the program. I waited a year or so to take on a “match” since I was involved in other volunteer programs. After great testimonies from co-workers and generous workplace support, I took the leap of faith. I am so glad I did!

The most astonishing part of the experience is how well matched we were which is a testament to the detailed work of this organization. My case worker truly listened to my match and my own interests, values, and personalities. My match and I both have a balanced relationship of mentorship and friendship (she calls me one of her “best friends” and her parents show their gratitude by calling me a part of the family!).

I feel the support has been appropriate along all stages of my match; for instance, in the beginning the check-ins for accountability were more frequent and now after a few years with this match the trust has been established and I have been given greater freedom in the time and activities we choose to do together.

This volunteer experience is one of the areas of my life that I am most proud of. BBBS of Central MN has been a wonderful partner and their dedicated, selfless work should be recognized and applauded!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have a greater understanding for working with youth. This experience has given me the confidence to branch out in other areas of youth work. The last 2 years I have also volunteered as a youth leader at my church a few nights a week. Even though they both require a large time commitment, I have been encouraged through the success of both programs!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I don't know if it is possible to have an even greater recruiting initiative at the organization because I know they do what they can with the resources they have but it is unfortunate so many youth are waiting for matches!

 
Flag review
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

I have been a Big Sister for almost two years now. Since the beginning, my case manager has been there to support, answer questions and provide guidance. BBBS offers such an important connection to children and caring adults. My little asked the other day if she could be my little sister forever, I told her OF COURSE!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My weekly life has changed, i enjoy the time I spend mentoring and connecting with my Little.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Require background checks on all adults and children over age 10 in the "Bigs" household. I would require housechecks of the case managers to the Big's homes. I would offer more resources, emails, trainings, for Bigs and family on topics affecting these children ie. ADHD, trauma, mental illness

 
Flag review
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

i am having a great time with my little, bbbs did a great job matching my little and myself, we have so much in common. he is great, we fish-hunt - bowl. he was interested in hockey so i got some hockey skates and helment stick, and we started to skate outdoors last weekend and he loves it. i look forward to spending time with him every week. i was a little nervous at first getting into the program, but bbbs was great at handling the procedure, made me feel real comfortable. and now that i have been in the program for about 5 months i wander why i did not do ths sooner. comunication with bbbs is good,they keep me informed on what is going on.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

spending time with my little because he needs a male in his life, spending time doing things he likes to do is rewarding to both of us. i met a person who i think i can help in life and grew as a person.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

do very little to change it,

 
Flag review
Review from Guidestar
profile
Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

BBBS of Central MN has come into our little town (Upsala) and brought with it a great deal of encouragement and hope! I have watched Littles feel cared for and excited about hanging out with one of the "big kids." Grades rise, loneliness ebbs, and hope creates new possibilities. I've also seen Bigs look beyond themselves in new ways as they enter the world of a child. Selflessness, generosity, and a fun experience are their reward. Even in a small town, kids can be overlooked. BBBS helps make sure that more and more kids are noticed, appreciated, and supported!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I know a number of the matches in our little town and have witnessed many positive changes in both Bigs and Littles. Specifically, one Little in particular has seen hope increase dramatically in his life. A result was going from barely passing to a B average in his classes at school!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would find a way to get BBBS into more small towns and school districts in our area where there is no similar program. Big cities are not the only places with hurting kids. Small towns also have incredible needs - usually with fewer resources to address those needs.

 
Flag review
Review from Guidestar
Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 4 stars  

My Son is in the 4th Grade and has been matched with his Big Brother at FHS for three years now Nathaniel Seiffert has been a wonderful role model for my son. He talks about him all of the time and shows me things that they make together. Although we have not participated in any Outside events, the time the two of them spend in school has really helped Cameron become more confident with himself and just plain gives him a good experience. I am very thankful to this organization and all it does to make a better Community by helping fatherless/displaced children become wonderful young adults. To make better choices and have someone they trust to confide in.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My son is more Confident and is learning good skills through his time with his Big

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

At this time I see no changes to be made. They are a wonderfully organized and well informed group. They make every effort to accopmodate and get the word out to everyone.

 
Flag review
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I really like what BIg Brother Big Sisters does for the community and how they really make good matches and create good friendships!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the site-based match program

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

none

 
Flag review
Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Great connections for students that impact how students view their school expereince. The program promotes a positive view!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The students in Foley have a positive view of school and the big bro/ big sister program helps students be leaders to create the school climate they want.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

continue the program

 
Flag review
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a big brother volunteer for almost four years now, and I must say that my experience has been truly fabulous. From the start, BBBS was hugely supportive and made volunteering easy. When they say "Little Moments, Big Magic," I think of how easy BBBS makes it to magnify the value of the little moments that I give to my little brother.

For example, I receive volunteer support emails on a regular basis that provide big lists of BBBS-organized events and local discounts to take advantage of with my little brother. In addition, my match coordinator is always responsive and on top of things when I need help.

Finally, and most importantly, BBBS was very careful to ensure that my match with my little brother was a good one. They did an incredible job--I consider my little brother to be among my best friends.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the growth that I've seen take place in my little brother.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give them a huge marketing budget to eliminate their waiting list for volunteers.

 
Flag review