Big Brothers and Sisters of Canada

Big Brothers and Sisters of Canada

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a charitable organization which matches adult volunteers to children needing adult mentoring. Founded over 80 years ago, there are over 170 agencies across Canada providing support to over 300 communities. As well as a traditional program, where one adult is matched with one same-sex child, new programs include Couples for Kids, Cross-Gender Matching, Internet Mentoring, and Life Skills Programs. This program claims that children participating in its program "graduate from high school at a rate of 20% higher than the national average. 78%...who came from a social assistance background no longer rely on this form of income and a disproportionately high number...graduate from college or university compared to others in their age group (Project Impact, Social Planning Council of Hamilton and District, Hamilton, 1994)."

For over a century, a non-profit movement called "Big Brothers Big Sisters" has helped children reach their potential through professionally supported one-to-one relationships with volunteer adults. The organization develops positive relationships that have a direct and lasting impact on the lives of young people. Big Brothers and Big Sisters are volunteers who mentor children, ages 6 through 18.

The movement began in 1904, when a young New York City court clerk named Ernest Coulter was seeing more and more boys come through his courtroom. He recognized that caring adults could help many of these kids stay out of trouble, and he set out to find volunteers. That marked the beginning of the Big Brothers movement. By 1916, Big Brothers had spread to 96 cities across the United States.

At around the same time, the members of a group called Ladies of Charity were befriending girls who had come through the New York Children’s Court. That group would later become Catholic Big Sisters.

in 1912, similar events took place in Canada and the first Canadian Big Sister agency formed in Toronto. Closely afterwards, in 1913, the first Canadian Big Brother program began in Toronto.

Both groups continued to work independently until 1977, when Big Brothers of America and Big Sisters International (in America) joined forces and became Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. In 2001 a similar merger occurred between the two Canadian organizations and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada was formed. Interest grew from outside North America, spurring the formation of Big Brothers Big Sisters International to help other countries get started and facilitate communications between countries running similar programs.

More than a century later, Big Brothers Big Sisters has remained true to the founders’ vision of bringing caring mentors into the lives of children. Big Brothers Big Sisters currently operates in all 50 U.S. states, in 10 Canadian Provinces and 1 territory, and in 35 countries around the world.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters in Canada

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada provides mentoring programs to more than 1000 Canadian communities through over 150 local agencies. Founded on one-to-one matching, men and women (age 18 or older) give their time to become a mentor to a child.

In response to the different needs and demands of children, youth, and volunteers alike, new programs have been established to fit the changing society. Couples for Kids, Cross Gender Matching, Internet Mentoring, In-School Mentoring, Big Bunch and Kids 'n' Kops group programs (for kids waiting for a one-to-one match), and new Life Skills Programs all provide a variety of opportunities for volunteering and support to children and youth.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters Internationally

Building on the century-long history and expertise of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, Big Brothers Big Sisters International was founded in 1998. BBBS International's mission is to promote and support the development of Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programs throughout the world, operating independently in various countries, and to help them build service capacity and create sustainability. This is done by providing consultation, technical assistance, training and materials for NGOs wanting to develop this proven mentoring model. BBBS International sets standards and shares best practices for effective and sustainable implementation of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

Big Brothers Big Sisters International headquarters is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

History

1902 - Ernest Coulter, court clerk, helps organize the first New York Children's Court; Ladies of Charity, later Catholic Big Sisters of New York, starts to befriend girls who come before the New York Children's Court.

1903 - Businessman Irvin F. Westheimer befriends a young boy in Cincinnati, Ohio; seeds are formed for the start of Big Brothers in Cincinnati.

1904 - Ernest Coulter founds the organized Big Brothers movement by obtaining 39 volunteers, who each agree to befriend one boy.

1912 - The New York Times reports Big Brothers activity in 26 U.S. cities

1912 - The first Canadian Big Sister program begins in Toronto.

1913 - The first Canadian Big Brother agency forms in Toronto.

1916 - Big Brothers work spreads to 96 U.S. cities.

1917 - The first national conference of Big Brothers and Big Sisters organizations is held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, leading to the later organization of the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Federation.

1923 - Big Sisters work geared to African-Americans is underway in Louisville, Kentucky and Brooklyn, New York. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., becomes treasurer of the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Federation. First motion picture based on a Big and Little Brother relationship is released by Paramount Pictures.

1925 - Big Brothers and Big Sisters Federation holds its first conference for agency executives. President Calvin Coolidge becomes patron of the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Federation.

1934 - President and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt become patrons of Big Brothers and Big Sisters Federation.

1940 - U.S. National Committee on Big Brothers and Big Sisters service is created to continue to pursue the formation of a national group.

1947 - Big Brothers Association headquarters opens in Philadelphia.

1948 - Norman Rockwell produces the sketch that becomes a symbol for the Big Brothers Association.

1951 - Big Brothers of the Year Program begins, Associate Justice Tom Clark of the U.S. Supreme Court and J. Edgar Hoover are named.

1958 - Big Brothers Association is chartered by Congress.

1969 - Big Brothers Association grows to 150 affiliated agencies.

1970 - Big Sisters International is incorporated.

1971 - Big Brothers Association reports 208 affiliates.

1974 - The first provincial Big Sisters conference was held in Canada and delegates from across Ontario joined to share experiences, exchange ideas and participate in educational seminars.

1975 - There are almost 100 agencies with 5,200 matches in Canada. The Big Sisters Association of Ontario (provincial) is formally established.

1977 - Big Sisters International and Big Brothers Association merge, forming Big Brothers Big Sisters of America with 357 agencies."'1980 - 150 Canadian agencies are serving 7,200 children."""1981 - The Big Sisters Association of Ontario (provincial) is formally incorporated."'

1984 - Big Brothers Big Sisters of America occupies its new headquarters at 230 North 13th Street in Philadelphia.

1985 - Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is honored with a commemorative stamp by the Postmaster General.

1995 - American Public/Private Ventures Study research shows measurable, positive results on youth who have a Big Brother or Sister, seminal research in the field of youth mentoring.

1998 - Big Brothers Big Sisters International is founded.

2001 - Big Sisters and Big Brothers organizations in Canada merge into one, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada.

2004 - Big Brothers Big Sisters of America celebrates 100 years of serving America’s youth.

In 2013, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada will celebrate their 100th anniversary

Sources

* [http://www.bbbsi.org/wwa_index.htm Big Brothers Big Sisters International - Who We Are]
* [http://www.bbbs.org/site/c.diJKKYPLJvH/b.1539759/k.2640/Who_We_Are.htm Big Brothers Big Sisters of America - Our History]
* [http://www.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca/en/Home/AboutUs/ourmission.aspx Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada - Mission]

External links

* [http://www.bbbi.org Big Brothers Big Sisters International]
* [http://www.bbbs.org Big Brothers Big Sisters of America]
* [http://www.bbbsc.ca Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada]


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