ELPO sponsoring Big Brothers/Big Sisters event

by Mandy Hicks

Big Brothers/Big Sisters of South Central Kentucky supports mentoring work for youth throughout our area. This is a well-established organization, and one ELPO is proud to support. We are serving as Presenting Sponsor of the organization’s Spirits in the Cave event, which takes place August 11, 6 to 9 p.m.

Tickets are $40 per person. You can buy tickets in person at the BB/BS office, 716 E. 10th Avenue, Bowling Green.

Additionally, BB/BS is accepting donations for its silent auction held at the event. If you’d like to donate, call their office at (270) 781-1180.

If you’d like to know more about this worthwhile organization, read on (from the BB/BS web site).

As the nation’s leading mentoring organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported 1-to-1 relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Big Brothers Big Sisters is proven to increase children’s odds of succeeding in school, behaving nonviolently, avoiding drugs and alcohol and breaking negative cycles. Our matches participate in activities either at school or throughout the community. We are a private, donor-driven and volunteer-supported, non-profit organization with the majority of our funding generated through fundraising efforts such as Bowl For Kids’ Sake and Spirits in the Cave. A portion of its funding also comes from the United Way of Southern Kentucky, foundation and grants, and private donations. Big Brothers Big Sisters has been impacting South Central Kentucky for the past 37 years, and in 2011 is striving to support over 400 children ages 6 to 17 through one-to-one mentoring matches in Warren, Barren and Allen counties.

Both children and volunteers have experienced the power of one-to-one friendships which has led to a substantial difference in the outcome of many children’s lives. Founded in October 1973 and originally part of Youth Bureau, Inc. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bowling Green became Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central Kentucky with the incorporation of the agency in Glasgow/Barren County in 1996. The agency then became a tri-county agency in the fall of 2002 when the program was started in Allen County.

While we continue to both serve more youth and serve them better each year, the number of youth in need continues to grow–with steady increases being shown in areas such as the number of students on free/reduced lunch, the number of children living without two parents, and percentage of children living in poverty. Big Brothers Big Sisters is committed to responding to these widespread and urgent needs. We will make every effort to provide a mentor for every child who needs and wants one. As an affiliated agency of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, our agency adheres to strict standards and policies in our efforts to safely serve children and youth in our programs. Located, in the third largest city in Kentucky, with an at-risk population exceeding 7,500 youth, Big Brothers Big Sisters’ long-term plans are to match over 550 youth per year.