December 2019

Hello Friends!

Do you remember as a kid, when school started in the fall, the holiday breaks seemed so far away? And now, it feels like it all just runs together without any type of waiting period.

What was most important then is still what is most important now. Having time to hang with people who are important to us, celebrating holidays, carrying on traditions, and of course, the food!

Unfortunately for many, the holiday season is a time of heightened stress and anxiety. Fear and disappointment. We are so grateful for our Bigs who are there to support their Littles and show that the best presents that last a lifetime are … to be real ... to be interested ... to be complimentary … to be curious … to be present. Scientists have proven that these actions change a child’s brain chemistry, today and for the rest of their lives.

In our demanding world, we have to be just as intentional about how we commit our time and energies as we are about how we commit our financial resources. Thank you for intentionally, and with a heart for kids, choosing to share your time and/or resources with our kids! 

Jackie Johnson
Executive Director

Recently Little Brother Justin was honored by the St. Cloud Optimist Club and the Central MN Optimist Club for Youth Appreciation Week. Justin really has a heart for brightening people's days. With his Big Brother, Nate Molitor, they created a fleece blanket for a woman living in a memory care unit. 

Justin has also shown his interest in positively impacting others by participating in the Let the Sun Shine Run and multiple Boy Scouts projects. Justin is an asset to our program and community already at 9 years old and we’re excited to see where else his caring heart will take him in life! 

Congratulations Justin!!
ARE YOU 70 1/2 AND HAVE AN IRA? Or know someone who does?
Did you know you can make gifts of up to $100,000 directly from your IRA to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota without paying federal income tax on the withdrawal? This option provides tax savings to you even if you do not itemize deductions! Here are the specifics:
  • You must be 70 1/2 or older at the time the gift is made.
  • The funds must be transferred directly to BBBSCM. It is important not to withdraw the funds before making the gift.
  •  Gifts cannot be used to fund a gift annuity or charitable remainder trust
  •  Each donor may give up to $100,000 total per year.
  • Gifts can be used to satisfy your required minimum distribution.
  • You can exclude the distribution from income on your federal tax return. If you do, you will not receive a charitable income tax deduction.
  • To qualify for tax-free treatment, you cannot receive goods, services or a personal benefit (such as tickets for events) in return for the IRA charitable distribution.
Contact Advancement Director, Brenda Jacobson, MA, CFRE at 320-258-4514 or   to let us know how the gift should be used or if you have questions about giving from an IRA.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota does not provide legal or tax advice. Donors should consult their own professional tax advisor before making a gift.

Recently, Ericka Beaucage from Enterprise Holdings presented the Board of Directors with a check for $1,500 in support of the Our Big Night in Oz Gala. Board member, Lee Hurd (Bursch Travel), was instrumental in securing this gift.

It costs about $1,500 to make and maintain a mentoring match for one year. Behind every successful match is vital support - background checks, screening, training, professional support and guidance. We are grateful to Enterprise Rent-A-Car for being a defender of potential!

Help us spread the word that we need more Bigs! Leighton Broadcasting is giving nonprofits an opportunity to receive a radio schedule that includes: 

  • A client discovery session
  • Free production on up to three radio ads
  • A 13-week, 21 ads per week branding schedule on select Leighton Broadcasting radio stations

We would be honored if you would nominate us and help us defend the potential of kids! Voting ends on December 31, 2019. Leighton Broadcasting will announce the winner January 3, 2020. To nominate us, go online to . Thank you for helping us match more kids with a caring mentor!

Big For A Day is a fun opportunity for companies, classes and other organizations to get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota. Big For A Day is exactly what it sounds like! Adult volunteers from your company, class and/or organization get to be a Big for a day. This is a great way to learn more about mentoring and also a great way to help the kids in your community.

We have over 100 kids on our waiting list. These children don’t get the opportunities to experience the mentoring relationship that they desire. By giving a few hours of your time, you can provide a positive experience for these kids and for yourself. Do you and a group of co-workers/classmates/friends have an idea for an art project, game day, athletic event or any other activity? Take the next step and email Shelby Hadley , Community Engagement Manager or call 320.258.4534.

Meet Aubrey Stellmach and her Little Sister, Whitney! The two have been matched for just over two years!

Aubrey and Whitney enjoy playing sports together, making crafts, and both ladies always have a smile on their face when together. Aubrey has been a consistent and supportive Big Sister, helping Whitney increase her self-confidence and academic achievements.

Aubrey and Whitney have taken advantage of attending a number of the Big Brothers Big Sisters activities, in addition to meeting weekly at school.

We are excited that these two have formed such a strong friendship over the course of their match!

Matt and Noah are!

A Big welcome to our newest community-based match: Matt & Noah! These two had a fun time meeting each other and are looking forward to going to the library and playing card games!  As you are considering being a Big, check out our current list of new Matches.

We would also like to congratulate these Matches who are celebrating milestone anniversaries ! We ask all Bigs to commit to at least one year of mentorship- that one year of consistency makes a BIG difference in the life of a child.

Are you ready to defend the potential of a kid? They have all they need within them, they just need a mentor, an ally, to help them bring out their best. That sounds like you! You have everything you need to be a mentor as well, just because you care about kids.

Take the next step and email Shelby Hadley , Community Engagement Manager or call her at 320.258.4534. She will help you with the next steps or click here to sign up for an Info Session today!

This month’s Partner Spotlight goes to Leighton Broadcasting. For well over 15 years they have supported us in BIG ways. From airtime, to bowling teams, to prize packages, to employees volunteering their time – Leighton has been a true partner.

Their mission is to “Serve, Connect, and Celebrate the Community” which is exactly what they do! This is evident in the on-air discussions between Bob Hughes, KNSI, and our very own Shelby Hadley, BBBS Community Outreach Manager.

Tune in the second Monday of each month at 7:30am to learn more about our program and support Leighton Broadcasting! While you’re at it, head over to Leighton’s website and nominate BBBS for the Gratitude on Repeat campaign. We are proud to partner with Leighton Broadcasting!