October 2019

Hello Friends!

Fall days. The start of a new school year. The beginning of a new season of favorite shows, on all four channels.

I remember coming home from school those early fall days to my mother’s steamy kitchen. After she had spent the day canning a variety of fruit preserves and vegetables, necessary to feed a tableful.

I have fond memories of getting out of supper clean-up if I carried the jars to the basement and organized them on the shelves.
Ironically, it always took me about 15 seconds longer than it took for the others to clean-up.

Like mom, I have been busy canning, using some of the same methods and tools as my mom did. The actions, smells, steam ... I can shut my eyes and feel like I’m back in her kitchen trying to get out of clean-up. What I didn’t realize until much later was that those everyday memories are what sustain us through difficult times. 

We hear that same nostalgic sentiment from our adult Littles. Their favorite memories of being with their Big are the simple times of doing something that seems so ordinary to the Big, yet becomes so extra-ordinary for our Little. Baking cookies. Changing oil. Building a bench. Those skills shared become skills they use. Those words of encouragement that are easy for our Bigs to share are then replayed throughout the Littles’ lives.

Science shows that these types of interactions change the child’s brain. It’s as simple as that. And it’s as necessary as breathing. Thank you for stepping up and choosing to work with us to stand with kids. We can’t do it without you, and your good will help sustain our kids throughout their lives. Now THAT is something to preserve. Gotta go, the newest Happy Days just started.

Jackie Johnson
Executive Director
Do you know someone who would make a great mentor?

We need YOUR help!!!

We are looking for adult mentors to serve in our Dr. Potter Bigs on Campus Mentoring Initiative, which serves local 6 th -10 th grade students by pairing them with a positive role model. The matches meet on the SCSU campus, every other Wednesday, from 12:00-1:00pm, during the school year.

This program opens windows of opportunity for local youth by immersing them in the world of post-secondary education, helping them dream BIGGER, and navigating them on a positive path towards success. Please refer your friends/family/co-workers to BigDefenders.org or Email Robyn or call her at 320.258.4512.

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.
Match Spotlight!

Big Brother Nate Molitor and Little Brother Justin have been matched since December 2018. Since their first time meeting, it was obvious the two had a lot in common. Together they have spent time painting, sledding, fishing, watching movies, and much more.

Nate supports Justin in many ways including going to a play he was in and helping Justin create a derby car and rocket for Boy Scouts.

Justin’s mom, Amy, has expressed how grateful she is to have Nate in her son’s life. Nate and Justin meet regularly and enjoy every outing together. We’re excited to see their friendship continue to grow! 

Erica and Montana are!

A Big welcome to our newest community-based match: Erica Kibbie and Montana! They are hoping to spend their first outing outdoors, as long as it is not raining!  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 DAYTA Marketing. Their support of our agency is a shining example of how a for profit business can engage on multiple levels with a local nonprofit.

At the board level, we are proud to partner with DAYTA Marketing Founder & CEO, Luke Riordan. His entrepreneurial spirit and heart for service make him just the right person to encourage our agency in new endeavors.

At a funding level, DAYTA Marketing provides in-kind services that enhance our online presence and drives our recruitment of Bigs. Also, several DAYTA Marketing Bowl for Kids’ Sake teams will be bowling this month to raise funds and awareness for our kids. This is a photo of a DAYTA Marketing 2018 Bowl for Kids’ Sake team participating in the costume contest. Can you pick out our Superhero - Luke?

And lastly, at a “BIG” (volunteer mentor) level, many DAYTA Marketing employees are matched with a “LITTLE” (mentee) in our Dr. Potter Bigs on Campus program. It has been such a pleasure to partner with them in defending the potential of kids in Central MN .