BIG BROTHERS-BIG SISTERS OF EAST CENTRAL INDIANA INC

Rating: 5 stars   10 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth

Location: 220 N Walnut St Muncie IN 47305 USA

Mission: To provide one-to-one mentoring relationships to youth primarily from single parent homes, through the use of professional staff services and quality volunteers. The focus is to reinforce positive attributes and strengthen a sense of self-worth at home, at school and in the community.

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been matched to my Little Sister for about a month now. She is an absolutely wonderful match for me! Although we have not had the opportunity to do many things together, I can tell that we are going to develop a wonderful friendship that will last a very long time. The staff of Big Brothers Big Sisters are absolutely wonderful! They work extremely hard to ensure that strong matches are made so that both children and volunteers will have an enjoyable experience in the program. Staff are there to provide support and advice as needed. I have not yet had to seek the advice of my Match Support Coordinator, but am so glad to know she is going to be there when I need to. I am so glad to be a part of this program. Not only am I doing something good for the community, but also having a great time getting to know and do fun things with my Little Sister.

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

Delaware County, Indiana

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

Provide more funding so that staff would have more resources to put on a wider variety of matched activities.

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

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

None so far

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Happy

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Rating: 5 stars  

I was so proud to have teamed up with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware County to put on their first annual "Dance for Kids Sake" event. I am the owner and director of Cole Academy, the dance studio that taught the choreography and helped to put on the show. Taryn Poti and her staff went above and beyond the expectations for this event. The professionalism and dedication within the agency is outstanding. Raising money is EXTREMELY hard to do in these economic times. They thought outside the box to raise money in such a unique and different way. The show was an amazing way to not only raise funds but to raise awareness throughout the community. I am still getting compliments on the show. Thank you Big Brothers Big Sisters for letting us be a part of such a special event. I look forward to working with you all for years to come!

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

The show was extremely successful.

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

none

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a volunteer with Big Brothers/Big Sisters for over two years and I love it! My little is the best girl ever, not just because she is funny and smart and open for all the corny ideas I come up with "hanging out" plans, but because she's pretty comfortable with who she is. She teaches me quite a bit about characteristics I need to work on for my own growth. She's awesome.
We spend a lot of time doing artsy stuff, going to plays and concerts and museums. Whenever I come across something I think she'd like, I try get tickets to go. This year, we went to a few Ball State basketball games, a first for the both of us, and we had a great time. We're both up for trying new things.

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

The match I have with my Little. She's cool and has really taught me to think outside of myself.

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

Nothing.

Rating: 5 stars  

There are far too many children in today's world that have a feeling of hopelessness. For whatever reason, they have a lack of positive adult influence in their life. Our children our being "raised by the streets" out of necessity, not out of want. For some, they have no father figure or their older brother is in a gang, or their parents gave them to their grandparents at a young age. For others, their parents are doing the best they can, but their jobs don't allow them to spend the kind of time with their children that is truly needed. Regardless of the reason, BBBS of East Central Indiana is helping to fill a HUGE void in the life of these children.
I was matched with Micah a little over 3 years ago and we have had an opportunity to grow together. He has gone from being a shy, reserved kid with very little in the way of goals or ambition to a high school freshman with dreams of going to college on a athletic or academic scholarship. Micah has a wonderful mother, so I can't take any of the credit for his development. All I have done is become his friend and open his eyes to a world that he may not have otherwise had an opportunity to witness. From there, he has blossomed. His communication skills are so improved that one person told me they thought I had a different little brother after not seeing him in over a year. They couldn't believe that he looked them in the eye and even asked return questions rather than giving a simple "yes" or "no" answer before looking at the ground. His growth has been measurable and he knows that I am a friend for life that he can come to with any question and he will receive an honest answer or honest advice.
I have also learned something about myself through our relationship. I've learned that I can make a difference in the world. Little things I was taught as a child became so beneficial to me later in life and not every child has an opportunity to learn these things. I learned that I do have something to offer a kid in need and I can change the world by starting with changing his world. If I'm going to give of my time, I want to make sure I am making a difference. Big Brothers/Big Sisters does just that, it makes a difference in Micah's life and in turn, improves our community.

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

I've seen the results in the way my little brother and other little's that I have had the opportunity to meet, have grown.

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

...supply them with a larger pool of finances and volunteers so they could help EVERY child that needs a strong mentor in our city. All this organization needs is more people to get involved.

Rating: 5 stars  

My involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware County is in the form of a practicum student. As a pre-professional social worker, I came into the agency with no degree under my belt and no real-world experience with home-visits, interviews, or assessments. Despite my inexperience I was welcomed into the agency with open arms and given the opportunity to fine-tune my skills for my future profession. Not only did I get to shadow interactions, I was able to participate and faciliate these interactions. My time here has equipped me with indispensable skills and has given me the outline of the social worker that I want to be in the future: one who is dedicated and committed to her cause, on behalf of her clients.

Sometimes I feel that the hardwork and dedication of the employees often goes unnoticed or underappreciated. But I would like to give some personal thanks to each member of the BBBS team. Thanks for taking me on as a practicum student and being a great supervisor (Taryn), for being the glue that holds it all together and answering the unanswerable (Sally), for letting me hijack volunteer interviews and double-knock to ask a billion questions (Chrystal), for taking me on my first home visit and answering another billion questions (Joiceann), and for going with me on home visits and having many discussions (Megann). I am so thankful to have met all of you and will miss you all very much when I'm freezing living in Alaska! :)

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

a view from behind-the-scenes. Working so closely with each member of the team has allowed me to see how dedicated each employee is to the mission and vision of the agency.

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

change absolutely nothing; I love them and all of the effort that they give to serving kids within our community to help create confident, competent, and caring adults for our future. Keep up the GREAT work!

Rating: 5 stars  

I am a Board member of the BBBS agency. A favorite time for me is to attend the annual volunteer recognition program. The stories and letters shared during the event come from the heart of the Littles and their family members about what their Big Brother or Sister means to them. The common theme of the stories is it did not matter to the Little what special activities the Big and Little did together…it was the fact that they had a caring individual in their lives to confide in, look up to or just hang out together. From being involved in BBBS matched activity events over the past twelve years, I truly enjoy seeing Littles blossom as they grew up and benefit from the one-to-one mentoring, trust and friendship with their Big.
I was also a Big Sister for ten years. I was matched with my Little Sis when she was eight and our match officially ended when she graduated from high school. However, we will be Sisters for life and now she is the Big Sis in the height department over me. I was matched perfectly because the agency staff does great homework in background checks, interview processes and match preferences, interests and likes. The agency staff provides tremendous ongoing support and supervision to the Big and Little to assist in the match as it grows and thrives.

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

As prior Big Sis and observing other matches at events, I see that volunteering just a few hours a month with a child can start something amazing…such as confidence flourishing, conquering a fear or heading in a positive needed direction.

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

As serving as the Board Treasurer for the past nine years, I know how important financial support and donations are to this nonprofit agency. Economic times are tough in this community and many great organizations are also in need of monetary support, but more fundraising $ and contributions are needed to support the BBBS agency…so the staff can continue to support the Big/Little matches from start to finish.

Rating: 5 stars  

I have volunteered for BBBS for approximately 3 years, and it has been great getting involved with this organization. My little brother and I have a lot to offer each other, and the agency is very supportive.

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

The services provided through this agency are very rewarding for me personally overall. I have also received aid from the organization with my match through organized activities and donated tickets to events around our community.

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

I am not aware of any needed changes.

Rating: 5 stars  

I recently joined the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and was matched with a 'Little' several months ago. So far, I have found the experience to be rewarding not only to my 'Little' but to myself as well. My 'little brother' belongs to a large family, with a mother who has adopted seven children. So far, all of them have been a part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and I can see that their whole family is grateful and benefits from it. I would recommend become a big brother or sister to anyone who wants to make a difference in a child's life, but not someone who is just looking for service hours, because the experience relies heavily on the want to develop a strong, truly caring relationship with a stranger in need. However, if up to it, I highly recommend the program.

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

I have developed a relationship with a child and seen how I have made a positive change in his life.

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

I would say that there isn't really any problems with the program that I can think of.

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been in the BBBS program for 9 years now and my little and I have been together for 8 years this October. I am a Christian and being a Big was put on my heart by the Lord. My experiences with my little and the agency have been wonderful and even at times life changing. My little comes from a "special needs" family so there have been some hard times for their family over the years and together we have made it through them. The agency has been so wonderful to us and to every child that comes through their doors and I know this first hand because I have had the priviledge of working for the agency temporarily and have been involved in numerous activities, committees and fundraising events over the years. I have seen them cry when a Big decided that they didn't want to keep the little that they had been matched with, I have seen them spend many nights working over to make sure that an event that 20 people might show up for is "perfect", I have seen them ask for help and fight for money to keep their doors open in a failing economy. I have witnessed what caring about others means to the point that it takes the greater part of their lives to accomplish it. Children need mentors, they need support and they need someone who cares. That is what our BBBS Agency provides for the children in our community! Thank You BBBS of Delaware County for everything that you do. You are loved and appreciated

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

a little of everything

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

I would like to see the United Way open their specifications on hiring Match Coordinators to include candidates that have 2 year degrees as well as 4 year degrees. I would also like to see less turn over, as it is hard for the bigs and littles to adjust to new people. Thank you Taryn Poti and Sally Brashear for your continued commitment and never ending perserverance

Rating: 5 stars  

Four years ago I applied to be a volunteer with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Delaware County because I had always been interested in helping children see and reach their potential. From the beginning the office has been very involved in my match and being a support for me. I know that if I ever have a question I can call and have it answered or just be given advice when I encounter a situation. I also appreciate all the events that I am able to attend with my little. Many of these events are experiences I am able to let her have that I might not otherwise be able to let her have. When I applied I hoped that I would be able to make a difference in the life of another - but with the help of this organization not only have I impacted on teenage girl but she has been able to impact my life in more ways that I can list.

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

Results are hard to identify for this organization but I have seen the impact that my match with my little has had on her life. I don't know if this would have happened without this organization - but I do know that it did happen because of this organization.

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

The things I can think of surrond financials and hoping for more support since it's a non-profit. The more funds available, the more children that can be helped.

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