Make a Difference in the Community
Last week we kicked off our summer campaign with a letter asking for community support. While we serve many children in the community, like Brian (see below), there are over 170 kids patiently waiting to be matched, like Ashley (see below), with a Big Brother, Big Sister, Big Couple or Big Family. Please consider a donation of monetary value or your time to help make a different in the lives of our community’s youth. If becoming a Big does not work for you, there are other chances to get involved such as helping on a committee, Board or skill-based volunteerism. If you are interested in learning more. Check out our website or call 608-782-2227.
For 12 year old Brian*, moving in and out of foster homes while growing up has had a significant impact on his trust of others. The stress and constant change made it almost impossible for him to confide in anyone; that is, until he was matched with his Big Brother, Ken*.
Although some mentors may shy away from getting involved with their Little’s troubles, Ken does all he can to be of assistance to not only Brian, but also to his foster family. Since being matched through Big Brothers Big Sisters in July 2015, Brian is more open with his feelings, is able to control his behavior in public, and has even picked up new hobbies. Ken has been a consistent, dependable, and overall positive influence in Brian’s life. He was nominated for an exceptional volunteer award for his efforts with Brian, and Brian’s foster mother could not agree more; “… He will never tell you that or admit that he is anything special, but we all know he is.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the 7 Rivers Region is as strong as we’ve ever been. This year alone we’ve helped over 200 kids in our region build confidence and positive relationships, avoid risky behaviors, and experience educational success, through ongoing support and new initiatives. However, even with the willingness of volunteers like Ken from our community to serve as Bigs, we still have a waiting list of 175 children eagerly seeking to be matched with a Big of their own. This waiting list presents a growing need for funding that makes it challenging to provide our services at no cost to every child in our community. On average, costs associated with volunteer recruitment, background and reference checks to ensure the safety of the children we serve, and staff time for ongoing support of Bigs and Littles, can add up to $1,000 in the first year of a match. Today, you have the opportunity to provide a child, like Ashley*, with a Big Sister of her own.
Living with one parent is challenging for Ashley, a bright young girl who is active, easy going, and loves music and drawing, but sometimes struggles with bullies at school. Although Ashley’s mother helps her in any way she can, Ashley would love the opportunity to have some extra help in math, someone she can play games with, and help with building her motivation and self-confidence.
With your donation we will be able to create better lives for every child on our waiting list, continue to support existing Bigs and Littles, and together, we can invest in the future of our community. For a small monthly donation, you can make a match for children like Ashley possible, and support the costs needed to sustain the relationship throughout the year.
Together we have the shared responsibility, and now the opportunity, to address the urgent needs of our children, and to make a continuous commitment to a brighter future for our community. Please consider making a monthly contribution to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the 7 Rivers Region today. Of course, we’d appreciate a gift of any size if you are unable to give monthly. You can donate online at www.7riversbbbs.org or mail in a check to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the 7 Rivers Region, 432 Division Street, La Crosse, WI 54601.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the 7 Rivers Region
*Names changed and not featured in photos