February 2020

Hello Friends!

I recently attended a community breakfast with 1,600 of my closest friends, celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.'s dedication to service. The keynote speaker was Valerie Jarret, Senior Advisor to President Obama.

When asked by Annesa Cheek (SCTCC President) what she sees as challenges for our young people, especially our kids of color, Jarret's answer was very deliberate and concise, "You can't be what you can't see." She described just what we do at Big Brothers Big Sisters. We put people on kids' paths with them, advocating for them, believing in them, in short, being seen by them.

Our Bigs model positive interactions, they share how setting goals and working towards them makes you more likely to achieve them. We know our kids benefit immensely from having a mentor, and our dream is to have a mentor for each child who needs one.  Join us!  

Jackie Johnson
Executive Director

Foley High School’s MHS (MN Honor Society) recently presented Big Brothers Big Sisters with a $1,300 check to support its mentoring program. The students, led by their advisor, Jamie Score, planned and organized Breakfast with Santa, a festive community event which benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters.      
Each year, approximately 80 Foley High School students serve as “Bigs”/mentors in the program distinguishing Foley as the only school district in which the number of available mentors is often greater than the number of children in need of a mentor.
Jackie Johnson, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters, states, “Foley High School is an example of true community where the high school students reach out and befriend a younger student. Big Brothers Big Sisters is only successful in the district because of the support and advocacy of the administrators, teachers, and staff. They have been integral to helping us enhance and expand our school-based program, which has served thousands of children within the Foley district.”  

Recently Jackie Johnson received a $3,400 BIG check from Crafts Direct . Each week, Crafts Direct highlights a local charity. They offer a 40% off any one item coupon every day with a $1.00 donation to charity.

Thanks, Crafts Direct, and you, for standing with kids!
"30 BIGS IN 30 DAYS"

January is National Mentoring Month and we celebrated by encouraging the community to stand with kids by becoming a Big.

We sent a series of engaging emails, ran an impactful social media campaign and personally reached out to those who have shown interest in the past year. We also added a webinar Info Session option based on the Zoom platform, making it super convenient for potential Bigs to learn more about us.

As a result we had 55 people sign up for an Info Session! But we are not stopping until we can greatly lessen the Wait Time for our Littles. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Big, fill out an interest form and then sign up for an Info Session today !

Please make your donation
by April 3rd. More information here !

Defender and Protector Sponsors

Vince and Lori Mohs

Gary and Jane


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.

Say hello to Olivia Lamont and Kenna! They have been matched for just over a year. The two have met consistently every week at school and love to do arts and crafts and read books during their time together.

Kenna is a very talkative girl and when she met Olivia she knew they were going to make the perfect fit because Olivia was so interested in everything she had to say! Since being matched, Kenna has shown vast improvement in her academics and peer relationships. She shares that her time with Olivia is one of her favorite parts of the week! 

We look forward to Olivia and Kenna spending many more years together.

Bradyn and Colton are!

A Big welcome to our newest community-based match: Bradyn and Colton! These two are looking forward to playing legos and getting to know each other! 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.

On Monday January 27, 16 of our matches designed their very own pallet sign at MMG Workshop . Everyone had a fun time getting creative!

Thank you to MMG Workshop for hosting this great event for the third consecutive year! We are so grateful for their partnership.

You can bid on five of these amazing signs at Our Big Night in Oz on April 17!

This month’s Partner Spotlight goes to Marco . Event sponsorship is one of the many ways we fund programming at our agency. Year after year, Marco supports our fundraising events through sponsorship. Not only that, staff volunteer their time to work on event committees.

This year is no exception, Patty Funk, VP of Marketing, and Alexis Kerslake, Graphic Designer & Marketing Associate, are spearheading our Gala marketing efforts. We want to give Alexis a BIG public high five for her beautiful work designing the look of “Our Big Night in Oz” gala. Be sure to listen for our radio ads featuring Marco ’s CEO, Jeff Gau, inviting you to attend this year’s event.

Patty Funk
Alexis Kerslake