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Fri, Feb. 22
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Column: Don't have to a big to help a little

Thank you Courier readers. Your "Welcome back home to Prescott" has been warm and wonderful! My transition into Kathleen Murphy's role after her 39-year tenure at Yavapai Big Brothers, Big Sisters (YBBBS) is historic. I am awestruck that we have incredible support from so many people who care deeply about changing children's lives.

I grew up in Prescott as Tina Gray, daughter of Robert, "Bob", and Cecilia Gray, and one of 9 children. I've been blessed with a strong family who valued faith, education, hard work, and community service. My older brothers and sisters carried me through the loss of both my dad and mom at a young age. I care deeply for the children in our community who have lost one or more parents due to death, incarceration, or divorce and who do not have the same foundational support. I also feel for single parents who face great adversity. My vision is that every child in Yavapai who needs a Big can have one.

Big Brothers, Big Sisters mentoring has proven outcomes, is evidenced-based, and professional. We lift children out of poverty enabling them to grow up with the skills they need to succeed and become economic contributors to our wonderful community. I have deep respect for all of you who believe in our work and "pay it forward."

We have a tremendous footprint in Yavapai County and a long, trustworthy legacy. Our beautiful building was donated and 97% of our funding is from private sources. Less than 3% of our support is from government sources. Our minimal government funding keeps us from being chained by bureaucracy.

Not everyone has the time or inclination be a Big, but perhaps you have time and talent to make other contributions. We are always looking for volunteers with a passion for children who can reduce any work our staff is doing. This goal translates into greater efficiency and more time to spend on finding and preparing Bigs for children

and provide our matches the professional support needed because children's lives are complicated.

If you cannot "be a Big" then I invite you to consider "being a gift to our Littles" by lending your time and talent to us for some very specific needs.

Write and/or edit - (chose one or several):

Our child of the week stories - there are four short versions a week

Our semi-annual newsletter

A short weekly e-newsletter

A monthly Courier article

Our website content

Plan a Big & Little activity once a month

Create and/or send cards and thank you notes

Offer your scrapbooking skills (for donor thank you cards)

Send out birthday/encouragement cards to Bigs, Littles, & Donors

Address invitations

Make thank you calls to donors and Bigs

Analytical Support

Data analysis (we are always measuring outcomes)

Helping with "Process Improvement Design" & "Continuous Quality Improvement"

Social media/Video (daily, one hour)

Monitor & post on Facebook

Blog and drive traffic to our website

Start a twitter feed

YouTube short videos

Faith community ambassador

Connect us to your church family and keep them in the loop

Program assistance

Refer a child who needs a Big

Help manage a school-based site program

Provide staff clinical support for a variety of situations

Help expand number of children served

Host a vision meeting for friends

Captain a bowling team

Captain a Charitable Tax Credit team ($400/joint return; $200/individual)

Provide event support (Gala, Tax Credits, Bowl for Kids' Sake logistics)

If nothing above fits, you can be an "on call volunteer" - "when you need me, just ask!"

For information:

(928) 775-5336

Christine Clouse

YBBBS President and CEO


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