February 2019
Hello Friends,

I recently attended a presentation on Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACES as it is better known. Essentially, the research shows a clear connection between chronic stress early in life and compromised health to the point of an earlier death, as an adult.

When children experience negative or traumatic events, it can affect the way their brain is developing, and have lifelong effects. Asking a child, “What happened to you?” is for more valuable than, “What did you do?” The medical field as well as the public safety professions interact the most with individuals with high ACES scores. Both fields are looking at this data to try to get ahead of the negative repercussions.

Understanding ACES is essential to helping youth overcome challenges. CentraCare Health and Twin Cities Public Television have partnered to present “Whole People,” a documentary series on ACES. Dr. Geri Jacobson, a presenter at the ACES presentation I attended, stated that a person who fits the PCA model can change the direction of the child’s life and help to reroute a child’s brain growth. I’ve not heard the PCA term before, although the concept is 50+ years old for our agency. PCA stands for a person who is  P redictable,  C ompassionate, and  A vailable.

PCA is our business. It is our expertise. Thank you to all of you who make it possible for Big Brothers Big Sisters to be able to provide this immensely important program for kids who need someone who is Predictable, Compassionate, and Available!

I encourage everyone to learn more about ACES and I’m sure you’ll see how Big Brothers Big Sisters is a pro-active and highly-effective community solution for today and tomorrow.

Stay Warm!
Jackie Johnson
Executive Director
All of our Matches are special, but we are fortunate to have so many who also advocate for BBBS in the community, volunteer at our events, participate in our fundraisers and so much more. Our Bigs and Littles of the Year go above and beyond in all they do.

Congratulations to:
Little Sister of the Year: Sophie
Little Brother of the Year: Eric
Family of the Year: The Carlsons
H.S. Big Brother of the Year: Alex Foss
H.S. Big Sister of the Year: Jessica Lemke
Big Sister of the Year: Hope Hippler
Big Brother of the Year: Joe Maiers
Big Brother of the Year, Joe Maiers, shares a laugh with Little Brother Cole.
At our team retreat last summer, we set some high goals and put laser focus on one in particular, getting more adult Bigs. We committed to recruiting and placing 121 NEW adult Bigs (while retaining our awesome current Bigs) in FY19 and we are already 61% to goal!
Compared to the same time last year:
  • We have made 37 more new Matches
  • We have closed five less Matches
  • We have 36 MORE active Matches!
We still have a way to go to reach our ultimate goal of a Waiting List of Bigs! Come and see what all of the buzz is about at an upcoming Info Session.
Wow! Thanks to the generosity of our community, we collected over 2,000 books for our Book Drive! Over 100 volunteers donated books, including organizations like Just for Kix (pictured) who stopped in with a donation of 675 books! The St Cloud Library allowed us to come pick from their books that they sell in their bookstore or sell at their bag sale. They donated just over 200 books and hopes to work with us in the future to give away more books. The Sauk Rapids Rice National Honor Society collected 800 books. The Sartell Community Center donated close to 30 books.

Bigs and Littles helped to create book marks that will be given with each book with an inspirational quote, fun decorations, etc. The books will be going to our Littles and their families and as a result of our volunteer drive, we were able to apply for Walt Disney World tickets which will be auctioned at our Magic Moments Gala on March 29!
We are so grateful for our strong support from our business community! They understand the power of potential in a child and are willing stand with kids to defend it - thank you! There is still time to be recognized as a community leader with your sponsorship of the Magic Moments Gala, please email Emily Steinmetz or call her at 320-258-4515.

Defender - $7,500-10,000
Vince & Lori Mohs
Anderson Trucking Service

Protector - $6,000
Preferred Credit, Inc.
SC Times/LocaliQ

Hero - $3,000
AirMaxx Trampoline Park
Auto Parts Headquarters
Bursch Travel
Custom Catering by Short Stop
D. J. Bitzan
Granite Equity Partners
SCR - St. Cloud Refrigeration
Thrivent Financial - Debbie Clausen
Wolters Kluwer
WWBD - What Would Bri Do

Guardian - $1,750
Bremer Bank
Central McGowan
Darkhouse Anglers
Dubow Textile
LB Carlson (Formerly Carlson Advisors, LLP)
Miller, Welle, Heiser
Premier Real Estate
KELLY RADI, motivational speaker & award-winning author
Schlenner, Wenner & Co.
Sentry Bank
Viking Coke
by Robyn Rieland,
Program Coordinator

Big Sister Michelle Schmitz and Little Sister Maria have been matched for over a year through our Dr. Potter Bigs on Campus Initiative! They have had a great time exploring campus together and forming a great bond! They both enjoy just sitting together and talking about life, school, and family. Michelle has offered great new experiences for Maria on campus as well, like going to Garvy and learning to use chop sticks! Maria feels that since she started meeting with Michelle that her grades have gotten better and she feels better about herself! Michelle has been a great resource for Maria and we are excited to watch this match continue to grow together!
Big Couple Tim and Brandi Mabbott and Little Brother Tegan are!  Check out our current list of new Matches.

Fun fact: Tim is from England where Tegan would like to go to college! Brandi bowled for Capital One's Bowl for Kids' Sake and she and Tim were inspired to IGNITE POTENTIAL by becoming a Big Couple.  

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.
This month's highlighted Match Discount Partner is the YMCA. With the recent blast of cold and a renewed resolution to get healthy, the Y is a great place for Matches to connect. Thanks to our partnership, Littles and Bigs may use the St Cloud YMCA together for free! Matches simply check in at the front desk, say they're with BBBS and show their Match ID card.

Check out this list and the next time you're at that business, please thank them for standing with kids!