Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah is hoping to ring in the new-year during National Mentoring Month with a powerful bang by raising awareness of the life-changing benefits of one-to- one mentoring and recruiting Big Brother and Sister volunteers. Mentoring relationships have proven to strengthen a child’s ability to thrive educationally and to make positive choices.
BBBSU has 335 children waiting for a mentor today, and we want to raise awareness of the need for mentors in our community during National Mentoring Month. This year we hope to find mentors for 525 children statewide. In total, our goal is to support mentoring for 1,320 children in 2017. About 800 of these matches are ongoing. Our biggest need is recruiting volunteers. “The gift of a mentor is something many of us take for granted,” said Nancy Basinger, president and CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah. “A mentor’s valuable guidance, support and belief in that child reduces risky behaviors in children while increasing their academic achievement, and improving relationships and self-confidence making future success more likely, research has shown.”
To sign up to be a volunteer or to donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah, please visit www.mentor.bbbsu.org.
President Obama, Governor Gary Herbert, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, Park City Mayor Jack Thomas, and St. George Major Jon Pike have all designated January as Mentoring Month. Created in 2002 by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, National Mentoring Month focuses national attention on the need for mentors, as well as how individuals, businesses, government agencies, schools, faith communities and nonprofits can work together to increase the number of mentors to assure positive outcomes for young people. Since 1978 BBBSU has passionately pursued its mission to provide Utah children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally-supported one-to- one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.
On January 17, 2017 and January 24, 2017, Popeyes® stores in, Herriman, Midvale, and West Valley will donate 15% of all sales to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah. The promotion will take place from 5 – 8 p.m. BBBSU personnel will be in store to talk about the non-profit’s mission, and to answer any customer questions. In addition, the retail outlets will provide BBBSU signage and counter jars to collect donations.
- Public Service Announcements on iHeart Media and Comcast to relay the importance of mentoring and to recruit much-needed Big Brother & Big Sister volunteers.
- Utah Jazz/Big Brothers Big Sisters Night – Gordan Hayward to sponsor 30 mentoring pairs to attend the BIG game against the Cavaliers.
- Utah Grizzlies/Big Brothers Big Sisters Night where a “Big” and “Little” will drop the puck at the beginning of the game, 30 matches of “Bigs” and “Littles” will form a human tunnel for the hockey players to enter the ice arena, and two “Littles” will get to ride the Zamboni during the game break.
- U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association will host 10 matches at a ski and snowboard racing competition at Solitude.
- Walk in Their Shoes Campaign Throughout the last two weeks in January, follow our social media campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see your favorite local politicians and sports figures wearing bowling shoes to bring attention for the need for mentors to “walk in the shoes” of a child in our community who is waiting for a mentor. Throughout the month our Big Brothers and Big Sisters who are current mentors will also post about what they have learned from the child they mentor. Big Brothers Big Sisters is the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network. In Utah, BBBSU serves Cache, Davis, Salt Lake, Summit, Utah, Washington, Wasatch and Weber counties, partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community to carefully pair children (“Littles”) with screened volunteer mentors (“Bigs”). The mission of these relationships is to achieve measurable outcomes for children in three areas: avoidance of risky behaviors, educational success, and emotional intelligence. To learn more about BBBSU or to become a volunteer or mentor, please visit www.bbbsu.org.
BBBSU’s programs include:
- Community-Based Mentoring: Mentors and children ages 6-18 years meet 2-4 times per month for a minimum of one year. Activities are based on individual interests and can be anything from going to the park, library or a baseball game.
- Site-Based Mentoring: Mentors and children at a designated location, usually a school, (either at lunch or after school) meet for one hour each week while school is in session, and on and off throughout the summer. Activities include homework, board games and four square!
- Mentor 2.0: A new technological way of approaching one-to- one mentoring, Mentor 2.0 gives high-school students the tools and support they need to graduate from High School and succeed in College.
Founded in 1972 in New Orleans, Popeyes® is a leader in the New Orleans segment of the foodservice industry and is the world's second largest quick-service chicken concept based on the number of units. As of October 4, 2015, Popeyes® had 2,475 operating restaurants in the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Cayman Islands and 27 foreign countries. For more information, visit the Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen website at www.popeyes.com.