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23 Reviews
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May 12, 2012

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May 12, 2012

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.

More feedback...

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

January 27, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
January 27, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Unsure

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

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Okay

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Unsure

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

May 3, 2011

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May 3, 2011

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.)

The Great!

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

I'm getting as much out of it as my Little Brother. It's a reason to have fun, act young and ideally make an impact on someone.

Ways to make it better...

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

Get them more money, so more kids on the waiting list could get Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

May 2, 2011

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May 2, 2011

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.

The Great!

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

I saw the positive results BB/BS had on my children, especially my son. (See "My Reveiw")

Ways to make it better...

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

From when my children were in the program, I wouldn't change a thing.

May 1, 2011

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May 1, 2011

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!

The Great!

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

...the way it POSITIVELY effects the life of a Little Sister or Little Brother FOREVER.

Ways to make it better...

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

...make sure it receives as much funding as possible, for the good it does in the life of a girl or boy who benefit from having a role model to help them in growing to be a mature, responsible individual in this great country of ours.

April 30, 2011

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April 30, 2011

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.

The Great!

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

As a member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters team both as a professional and a volunteer, I've seen firsthand the changes brought about in children facing adversity. I've watched kids who have grown up too fast have the opportunity to enjoy their childhood. Kids who never believed they had a chance in life for something big are pursuing college degrees and leadership positions simply because someone believed in them and invested a little time in their future.

Ways to make it better...

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

I would encourage more people to volunteer! By meeting with a child only two times a month, a volunteer can change a child's future.

April 30, 2011

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April 30, 2011

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.

The Great!

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

watching my little sisters grow their confidence, education and social abilities.

Ways to make it better...

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

provide even more group activities for matches - though they do a nice amount of this already

April 29, 2011

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April 29, 2011

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.

The Great!

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

I have worked for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sioux Empire since March 2008, nearly a year after I began volunteering for the organization. I had been working as a newspaper reporter/photographer, and was asked by the previous program manager to fill her role as she took a local teaching position. I didn't hesitate to say yes. Helping children to see the light inside themselves is a job I'm thankful to have each and every day. That I am able to mentor a beautiful young adult is a bonus.

Ways to make it better...

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

Provide more supervised group activities (including transportation/meals) for youth when their mentors/parents are unable to participate. Currently, mentors are required to spend just 2-4 hours (at a minimum) with a child each month and are often time-starved, multi-leveled individuals who can't spend more than that. These kids need more positive interaction, and a safe, secure, group-mentoring aspect is highly needed for at-risk youth.

More feedback...

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?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

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

Recognition rewards/incentives. Honoring banquet/dinners.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Of course. I have a lifelong "Little Sister" in Tiffany.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Needed. Valuable.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

April 29, 2011

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April 29, 2011

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.

The Great!

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

I have grown my self confidence and achieved many of my life long goals. Had the wonderful satisfaction of helping another child achieve their own goals.

Ways to make it better...

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

If I had to change anything I would not stop until every child on the waiting list had their own mentor.

April 29, 2011

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April 29, 2011

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!

The Great!

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

I've personally experienced the results of this agency in my own personal life. I was able to see the wonderful things that my sister experienced when she had a big sister as a child and I was also able to hear stories first hand from bigs and littles on how their other half made their lives better

Ways to make it better...

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

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would not. I would only make more funds available to them so that they can continue their great mission.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

What is unique about this organization?

They not only target and change the lives of at-risk youth, but the lives of the volunteers/"Bigs" are forever changed as well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

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