Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

Rating: 4.87 stars   23 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth

Location: 230 N 13th Street Philadelphia PA 19107 USA

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.
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

EIN 23-1365190
(215) 567-7000
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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.

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.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

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!

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

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.

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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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Bigs had a major influence on school life. More than three-quarters of grown Littles surveyed did better in school because of their Big, two-thirds agree that their Big helped them reach a higher level of education than they thought possibl...e, and half agree that their Big kept them from dropping out of high school…many alumni LIttles have achieved higher levels of education than their parents…and most went on to earn their four-year college degree or more. "Adult Little Research, Harris Interactive, March-April 2009"

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

I've personally experienced the results of this orgainzation in so many ways. One such way is through learning my wife was a little sister many years ago. Hence, her passion for the work of the agency is heart felt because she really believes in the mission of professionally supported one-to-one mentoring. Her motivation is driving by giving children hope for a better future.

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

If I had to make changes to this orgainzation, I would ensure every agency has the personal and resources needed to do this very important work. It is painful to know some agencies have had to reduce their service areas due to funding or fulling engaged community leadership.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Big Brothers Big Sisters had the ability to make a huge impact on the youth in our counry....and they do it everyday! Thank you to BBBS for all you do for children.

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

worked with many BBBS matches

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

find additional funding so more children can be matched with mentors

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Rating: 5 stars  

I first became involved in our local Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Homer, Alaska as a volunteer member of their Advisory Council. I assisted with the monthly newsletter and organizing monthly group activities for Bigs & Littles. I also helped with their annual fund raising campaigns. It was very rewarding to hear the laughter of the adults and kids during the group activities and bowling tournaments and it only took four hours or less a month of my time. I am now lucky enough to work for our local program. On my wall I have pictures of all of our current matches - kids and adults with huge smiles. When new Littles enroll in our program, they immediately gravitate to that wall of pictures. BBBS does not charge for its services and all of our Bigs are volunteers. Each BBBS program is supported through state and federal grants, and also by their local communities. So many of the businesses and individuals in our little town have donated graciously to keep our program up and running - either donating money, services or materials such as office supplies or equipment. Our budget is as small as our office - but we make it work due to all the great volunteers and community support. It costs about $2000 to match one child and maintain their match each year. Every little donation helps! We have been able to match more than 200 Bigs & Littles in our own small community and average now about 40 current (open) matches a year. It is a great program to support and the rewards last lifetimes.

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

"Littles" (children) in our program have improved in areas of self esteem and confidence, school performance, social skills, and problem solving. Bigs (adults) in our program report great feelings of satisfaction and enjoyment through spending time with a Little and being apart of their lives.

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

Provide more opportunities for state and federal grants in areas of mentoring. I've recently attended presentations on brain development in teenagers. The research strongly supports the need for positive mentors in teen's lives as their brains go through a dramatic and challenging growth spurt.

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