The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters is “to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters is headquartered in Tampa, Florida. It has 300 affiliate offices across the United States, with approximately 400,000 families and mentors actively engaged in the Agency’s mission.
Big Brothers Big Sisters works with youth age 6 to 18. Its volunteer, supporter and donor base is diverse, representing all ethnic and socio-economic groups. The Agency carefully matches mentors with its youth participants, remaining fully involved in the process.
The objective of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Charity is to help children succeed in school and to avoid risky behaviors such as drug or alcohol abuse. Mentors help them develop a strong sense of self-esteem and self-confidence that will carry them forward into their adult lives.
Big Brothers Big Sisters enjoys strong support from major foundations, including Annie E. Casey Foundation, Microsoft Philanthropies, S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, Fidelity Charitable and Altria Group. Additionally, it has built a formidable network of corporate sponsors and community affiliates whose funding enables the Charity to carry out its mission. Big Brothers Big Sisters also administers U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention grants to 69 affiliates around the country.
The vision of Big Brothers Big Sisters is to permanently alter for the better the lives of youth facing adversity, to provide them with the support they need to achieve and change their reality. The Agency offers several ways to get involved. The primary is to become a mentor—a big brother or big sister. Mentors work one-on-one with their little brother or sister in their schools, neighborhoods, and even on military bases.
In early 2018, Dial and Big Brothers Big Sisters announced a new partnership effort called Healthier Futures. The initiative will add an important element of developing healthy hygiene habits to the traditional mentorship program. At the end of 2017, Big Brothers Big Sisters received a significant grant from S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. The $2.725M grant will be used to initiate a new national technology project, create new training programs, create a new learning management system and enhance the capacity of its affiliate partners.
Big Brothers Big Sisters has been delivering life-changing programs for more than 100 years. It was founded in 1904. Ernest Coulter was a clerk in New York City. He observed that an increasing number of young boys were passing through the court system and felt compelled to find a prevention strategy. He believed that if he could recruit volunteers to mentor the boys that would keep them out of trouble. This was the seed that would later grow to become Big Brothers Big Sisters.
While Ernest was building his program, the Ladies of Charity were initiating a mentoring program for girls who were being referred to the New York Children’s Court. This project took on the name Catholic Big Sisters. In 1977 the two groups joined to become Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Expanding its reach around the globe, Big Brothers Big Sisters International was formed in 1998. Its headquarters is in Philadelphia, PA.