October 19, 2016
The Big Brothers Big Sisters mission culminates with the idea of changing the lives of children for the better, forever. And, really, it's more than just an idea, it’s our promise. When a parent, grandparent, school or even a juvenile judge brings a youth to Big Brothers Big Sisters, they do so knowing - not hoping, that we will help by matching them with a passionate, trained and professionally supported mentor with the vision of making a difference.
We work with youth who are not only "at-risk" of falling through the cracks, but many who have already fallen and looking for a way to get up. The following is true description of a youth served by Big Brothers Big Sisters right here in our community:
Tyler's (not his real name) mother was murdered as a result of a domestic violence situation, one that was witnessed by his older brother. He was placed in foster care after the murder and was in 7 different foster care homes before he was finally adopted. He is 7 years old. There is fear that he was verbally and physically abused as a child. His father is in prision.
We also know that Tyler is intelligent, self-aware and motivated. Our job is to find a mentor for Tyler who is willing to develop his social skills, confidence and maturity because we believe that he can acheive success in life. And, over the past 40 years, we've been pretty successful. Big Brothers Big Sisters provides a caring adult role model for nearly 1000 youth, like Tyler, throughout the metro Detroit area every year. Youth in our program are more successul in school, avoid risky behavior, enjoy better relationships and develop a better outlook about life.
Unfortunately, we also have to turn youth away every year because we lack the financial resources. We recently received this email from a mother:
To whom it may concern,
I am a single mother looking for some type of mentoring program for my twin boys. My children are 15 and will be 16 in January. My sons are growing up with no form of father figure and this world is so cold. A few month ago my children witnessed a murder which was one of their friends. I'm not sure how to keep my children out of prison and out of the grave. Everyday I hear of a mother burying her son. If anyone could provide me any assistance in insisting me with mentoring for my boys I will forever be grateful.
Another actual inquiry:
I was wondering if there was some type of waiting list because I have been trying to get my son in this program for over 2 yrs he has been through a lot in the last 3 yrs. His father was killed then I got sick with a brain tumor , lupus and had surgery radiation and currently taking chemo treatment. He also had heart surgery in 2013 so he has been through a lot in his life, He's really missing his father. I'm just really trying to get some type of help for him cause I don't want him to get lost. He's a really good kidh. He loves legos and mind craft and he's learning how to swim. He's just missing that male figure. Please if you know of any program or if you have a waiting list can you let me know.
It is heart breaking to tell a mom we can't help because we dont have the funds to help. And we hate to keep these kids on a waiting list not knowing when the funds will be available to get them a mentor.
Donations received from this campaign will allow us to recruit, screen and train mentors so they are ready when we get a call for help. Your donation also allows us to support and maintain those relationships until a youth reaches adulthood.
We are excited to be a part of this campaign so we can invite you to join us. Your donation, no matter how big or small will make a true difference.