Kait – “I like that I have someone to talk to.”
The Bigs who volunteer their time for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island all have different reasons why they chose to be a part of the organization. No matter the reason, everyone involved is looking to accomplish one goal: to make a BIG difference!
Laura has accomplished the goal of making a difference by being a Big Sister to Little Sister Kaitlyn. They have been matched for almost five years and their journey started after Laura went through a difficult time. “A few months after a close friend of mine passed away, I signed up to be a Big,” said Laura. “I decided to get involved because I needed an excuse to still do fun “kid” things.”
Kaitlyn, whose mom said she “needed to come out of her shell” signed up with hopes of opening up to others and communicating more. Kaitlyn says of Laura, “I like that I have someone to talk to. I like that we can talk about anything.” During the course of their Match, Laura and Kaitlyn have gone on nature walks and enjoy playing games at Chucky Cheese. Laura says, “I love to make normal everyday activities into an adventure. For example, when we went to Chucky Cheese one time we only talked to each other using British accents!”
Whether a Match has been together for three months or five years, a Big wants nothing but the best for their Little. “I hope that in the future Kait will stay true to herself and continue to be a caring, smart and funny person, “ said Laura. “I also hope that she will set goals for herself and know that she can achieve them if she works hard.”
Volunteering your time to be a part of BBBSLI as a Big is a rewarding experience. “Getting involved with BBBSLI gave me something positive and meaningful during a difficult time,” said Laura. As for advice to others who are thinking of becoming a Big, “You will likely get just as much (if not more) out of the program as your Little. It has been awesome to watch Kait grow into the person she is today and share in her accomplishments.”
If you’re interested in being a part of BBBSLI visit: http://www.bbbsli.org/VOLUNTEERS/ to learn how you can get involved.
Remember, Mentoring Works! Start Something!
Cruisin’ for Kids’ Sake
On September 20th a dozen supporters on cruisers, soft tails, and sport bikes hit the road to promote Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) and our mission to provide one-to-one mentoring to at-risk youth across Long Island. This year, riders helped raise nearly $10,000 which will allow BBBSLI to provide mentors to children who have been waiting for a Big Brother or Big Sister.
With the sun shining, riders arrived to the E. David Woycik, Jr. Building in Levittown to breakfast and a custom-fit pair of Harley Davidson sunglasses provided by Castle Merchandising Inc. In addition, one lucky participant rode away with a new drinking glass bar set, donated by Harley Davidson of Bellmore. Kickstands went up at 9 AM and the group headed seventy-three miles north, to scenic Bear Mountain. After taking a few photos up at the mountain the riders went on to enjoy lunch in Newburg overlooking the Hudson River.
“The third year of Cruisin’ for Kids’ Sake was a great success,” said Jamison Skala, Director of Development for BBBSLI. “This is a fun event where supporters can marry their favorite hobby to their favorite non-profit and hit the road to spread the word that mentoring works.”
“This event wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible support of Board Members, Tom Slome and Jeff Schwartzberg,” added Skala. “We can’t thank them enough for their efforts to help organize the event and be our Ride Captains for the day.”
If you’re interested in learning more about Cruisin’ for Kids’ Sake or want to participate next year, reach out to Jamison at email@example.com. We hope to see you next year!
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island Receives
Motorola Solutions Foundation Innovation Generation Grant
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island has received a grant for $25,000 as part of the “Innovation Generation Grant” program from the Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions, Inc. The grant will support the BBBSLI Workplace Mentoring Program at the Motorola offices in Holtsville, which provides weekly, after-school mentoring to middle school students from the Sachem School District.
Students will be transported to the Motorola offices, where they will be “matched” with “Bigs” from the Holtsville office. On-site, Case Managers will provide support to ensure the “match” is a success for both the “Big” and “Little.” In turn, the mentoring relationship will make a positive impact on the life of a child and offer employees the chance to give back to their community.
“The grant provided through the Motorola Solutions Foundation will assist BBBSLI in implementing a Workplace Mentoring Program at the Motorola offices, right here on Long Island,” said Mark Cox, CEO of BBBSLI. “The employees of Motorola will be a valuable asset to the children enrolled in the program as they can provide education, career exploration, and insight into the world of technology.”
The Workplace Mentoring Program allows companies to host students from neighboring school districts while their employees provide professional, supported one-to-one mentoring. Throughout the program, BBBSLI staff is on-site to provide guidance during the mentoring process. BBBSLI recruits, screens and trains qualified candidates who dedicate their time as “Bigs” to mentor at-risk children, “Littles.”
“In 2007, the Motorola Solutions Foundation created the “Innovation Generation Grant” program to support instruction and educational experiences that spark young imaginations and turn their dreams into the innovations that will shape our future. Organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island are teaching tomorrow’s workforce that careers in engineering and technology are not only fun, but also within their reach,” said Matt Blakely, director, Motorola Solutions Foundation.
For additional information on the Motorola Solutions Foundation grants programs, visit: http://responsibility.motorolasolutions.com/index.php/solutions-for-community/.
Back To School
Even though the thermometer is reaching close to ninety degrees, summer is shortly coming to a close and now school is in session. We’ve had a very exciting summer at BBBSLI with events such as our Summer Sizzle Poker Tournament, Gala Kickoff Cocktail Reception and the 14th Annual Hamptons Offshore Fishing Tournament. The coming months have just as exciting events such as the 16th Annual Presidential Gala, Battle of the Bands and Holiday for Kids’ Sake.
Now that our “Littles” are back to school, our School-Based Programs at Hampton Bays High School and in Sag Harbor, will soon kick-off, helping to mentor children on the East End. In addition our Hofstra College Mentoring Program will also start this fall, helping to reach more children in need across Long Island.
Thanks to our volunteers, sponsors, supporters and of course our “Littles,” BBBSLI is thriving and hopes to grow and impact more children. BBBSLI has a number of events and opportunities to get involved with, so please check out our Events page (http://www.bbbsli.org/ABOUT/Events/) or follow us on Facebook and Twitter and check back to see what’s new!
We hope to see you soon!