Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah is celebrating 40 years of changing lives through mentoring in 2018! BBBSU has worked to help Utah children who face adversity by bringing caring role models into their life that give them the opportunity to reach their full potential. So much has happened in the last 40 years! Numerous children helped. Many awards won. So many exciting events and fundraisers!
One of the first fundraising events that was organized was Bowl for Kids’ Sake in 1984. This event is now, usually held in March & April and this year, it’s beginning March 3rd! Proceeds will go towards funding programs for one-to-one mentoring. Participants help raise money and then enjoy free bowling, pizza, and can win fun prizes! After 34 years, the event is still going strong and has been quite successful!
Among the many awards won for achievement and excellence, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah was first recognized for outstanding public service in 1988, receiving the highest honor through the Governor’s Award for Excellence. The Governor’s Award for Excellence rewards accomplishments that reflect positively on the state of Utah.
In 1994, a partnership with Savers Thrift Stores began which assisted in the opening of donation centers throughout the state over the last 24 years. The purpose of these donations centers are to collect gently-used clothing and household goods that can be sold to Savers Thrift, and in turn, fund about 25% of mentoring program expenses.
Before 1999, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah only provided community-based programs that allowed Bigs and Littles to explore their communities together and create their own schedules. Then, Salt Lake City introduced site-based mentoring which allows Bigs to visit their Littles same time, same day at school or an after-school program. This program allows the Bigs schedule to be more consistent and to to be better involved in their Little’s schoolwork.
10 years ago, BBBSU began a partnership with the Beehive Chefs Association and introduced the Chef & Child Gala. This is probably one of the most exciting and delicious events that is held all year! Renowned chefs offer their time and culinary skills at this yearly fundraiser and provide many unique culinary treats for donors and supporters. There is always a lively atmosphere with live music, great conversation, and a silent and live auction that really gets people excited!
Here are a few other grand achievements! For the past few years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah has been recognized by Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America as a pinnacle agency. To qualify, agencies must increase their revenue by at least 5 percent, grow their overall number of matches for two or more consecutive years, and meet or exceed several important quality metrics. In 2011, BBBSU received the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in the Workplace Flexibility. In 2015, the United Way of Salt Lake Promise Partner of the Year award was given to BBBSU and in 2017, the Ethical Leadership Award for Nonprofits from the Daniels Fund was awarded.
Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Utah has accomplished so much over the last 40 years and is proud of the growth that has been made. It will be exciting to see what the future has in store for this amazing organization.