In early March 2020, Big Brothers Big Sisters 7 Rivers Region held their Catered for Kids Sake fundraiser. The room was filled with community supporters and individuals whose lives had been impacted by the BBBS program. They had a testimonial speaker of a Big and a Little who had been matched in the program years ago, and both men now are fully grown with their own families. Seeing their pictures and hearing the stories they shared moved most people in the crowd to tears.
Since then, the biggest challenge that Big Brothers Big Sisters is facing because of the pandemic is the loss of income from in-person fundraising events and recruiting Bigs. The fundraising events are specifically made to be fun, engaging, and lively–a task hard to complete virtually. Additionally, they have found that many of the Bigs were faced with big life changes, whether that is a job loss, moving to a different city, or just having an uncertain future.
One way that you can support Big Brothers Big Sisters safely and securely is by using the NetGiver app. On average seven percent of online gifts is lost to fees. Imagine the difference your donation can make when fees are eliminated courtesy of Altra Federal Credit Union.
“For our organization, receiving 100% of the donation through NetGiver helps alleviate the processing fee costs for our organization and that allows us to defend the potential of more children in our community,” says Kate Bickett, Community Relations Manager at Big Brothers Big Sisters 7 Rivers Region.
Fundraising in 2021 has switched to a mix of virtual and hybrid events that are engaging and in a new format that BBBS would not have thought possible in the past. The upcoming virtual Bowl for Kids’ Sake event allows teams to fundraise in whatever way they choose with fun challenges posted on the BSBS website to get teams engaged. Additionally, all teams who sign up for the event and reach their fundraising goal will receive a voucher for bowling and pizza to be redeemed whenever their team feels comfortable enough to use it.
If you are interested in becoming a Big, 20 Littles are currently waiting to be matched with their Big in the Winona area. “In my career, I feel most inspired by our dedicated Bigs. We have Bigs who, without fail, make sure to connect with their Little on some level almost daily,” says Bickett. “Watching Bigs grow is a fun perk to this job because it reminds me that not only are Littles being changed through our program, but our Bigs are too.”
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