BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida is celebrating 34 years of empowering youth and strengthening communities with a special celebration.
The non-profit has teamed up with the Arby’s Foundation. The foundation has pledged to match all donations dollar for dollar, up to $30,000 throughout the month of November.
“Any donation that’s made in the month of November is double the impact right now,” said Advisory Board Member, Shaun Streeter. He serves on the Advisory Board for the Bay County chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida.
Streeter said staff works hard to create and support one-on-one mentoring relationships by conducting an extensive interview process between a potential mentor and a child.
“A lot of them [matches] continue for 10 [years], 15 [years], a lifetime, even after they graduate the program,” said Streeter. “That’s what we want, but it takes a lot of funds to make all that happen.”
There are also background checks that must be done on every mentor.
You can make a donation online here.
“We’re recommending nineteen dollars and 89 cents, in celebration of 1989,” said Streeter. “But any donation, there is no donation too big or too small.”
Right now, there are more than 20 children on the wait list for a mentor. While the need for funding is there, there’s a dire need for more mentors.
“Studies show that kids involved in this program, they have better grades in school, higher graduation rates in high school, they go on to college, they graduate college, they get better jobs after college, and that’s all proven.”
To learn about becoming a mentor, you can call 763-KIDS or click here.