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  • Giving Back: Supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters in Kalamazoo

    Ten-year-old T’Sean has experienced a lot of loss in his short life, starting with the murder of his father in a gang-related shooting when he was just 3. T’Sean is doing well but as his teen years get closer, his mother wants to do everything she can to make sure her son doesn’t experience the violence that ended his father’s life.

    It seems that the odds are stacked against T’Sean, and he isn’t alone. While their stories and backgrounds may differ, there are hundreds of local children who all have one thing in common: because of factors out of their control, they will have a more difficult time succeeding in life than their peers. These children would benefit from having a mentor – an additional caring, consistent adult in their lives.

    In response to the large number of local children who need a mentor, Big Brothers Big Sisters, A Community of Caring has set an ambitious goal of serving an additional 250 Kalamazoo County children in 2017. Funds raised at the St. Patty’s Day Pub Run will assist the agency in recruiting new Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Big Families, and Big Couples.

    Research shows that a mentor improves a child’s chances of succeeding in life. The most recent data available from surveys of children served by our agency show that after having a Big for just one year:

    • 96.6 percent have improved self-confidence;
    • 91 percent are less likely to engage in risky activities that could limit their future success;
    • 90 percent perform better in school.

    Increasing a child’s odds of staying in school to prepare them for further education or entry into the workforce is key to breaking the cycle that limits their future possibilities.

    Here’s how you can help make this happen:

    1. Can you spare as little as four hours a month? Can you commit to this for at least a year? Then we need you! Bigs spend time with their Littles two or more times a month, usually for a couple of hours at a time. Don’t want to take away time from your own family? Then volunteer together as a Big Family or Big Couple!
    2. If you can’t volunteer as a Big, skill-based volunteers are always needed to assist us in and around the office.
    3. Donations (such as those received from the Pub Run) are essential and always needed!
    4. You can advocate for us by encouraging friends and family members to become Bigs.

    Regardless of how you get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters, you will be helping local children change their lives for the better, forever.

    For more information:
    ThinkBigToday.org
    269-382-6800

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