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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services

Mission: Provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.

Results: The organization holds itself accountable for children in the program to achieve measurable outcomes, such as higher aspirations; greater confidence and better relationships; educational success; and avoidance of delinquency and other risky behaviors.

Target demographics: Most children served by Big Brothers Big Sisters are in single-parent and low-income families or households where a parent is incarcerated. Headquartered in Philadelphia with a network of about 370 agencies across the country, Big Brothers Big Sisters serves nearly 250,000 children.

Programs: Brand development includes the information delivered to the agencies via conferences, meetings, and training sessions. Also, bbbsa supports the local staff and board in development for further bbbsa visibility and impact.

program development: bbbsa works with agencies to develop programs and tools for agency use. This category also includes a learning and support function.

agency development: this category includes grants to agencies. Also includes field-based staff that engaged in direct support to the agencies.

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 2

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

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.)

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have just been matched with my second Little Brother. My first match lasted 4.5 years and was so much fun I decided to do it again. I really love the fact that I can use mentoring my Little as an excuse when I go out to have fun.

Sharon A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a Big Sister for nearly 10 years with the same match. Yesterday, she turned 17. We have one more year to be a "match" but we plan on being "sisters" forever. She even talks about being a big & things she wants to do with her little. Even about doing 3-generation stuff once in a while.
People always talk about what a blessing being a big is for the little. But, I have found that being a big is a huge blessing for me as well. I look forward to my time with my little. Even when we don't have big plans & we just watch a movie and talk I am just happy to be with her. Just seeing her lifts my spirits every time.

Beth B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been matched with my little for 6 months now. It has been a very rewarding program. My little and I enjoy many activities. Including bowling, playing board games, talking, watching movies and much more. One of the most amazing things about the program is how accurate the matching is. She is an absolute delight and a perfect match for me!