The United Way of Steuben County teams up with BBBS again this year! Last month the United Way of Steuben County (Indiana) awarded grant money to local nonprofits and community organizations. Big Brothers Big Sisters of NE Indiana (BBBS) was one of these organizations. The United Way granted $1,000 for the no-fee mentoring programs offered in Steuben County by BBBS.
The Community-Based program is the traditional mentoring effort that pairs children with responsible and consistent adult mentors in the community. The adult volunteer and child share fun activities like playing catch, going to the zoo, or baking cookies. These matches meet two to four times each month during the year. The Site-Based School Buddies program matches elementary students with caring adult mentors. Buddies meet once a week for lunch at the child’s school during the academic year. The agenda is simple: eating lunch, doing homework, reading books, playing games, or simply spending time together talking about life. The time commitment is small – one hour once a week – but the benefit to the child is huge. Children served have the greatest need and least opportunity.
The majority of the youth served demonstrate several risk factors: live in a single-parent family, live in poverty, have poor social relationships, have strained family relationships, and have academic or behavior problems. Of the 22 youth served in Steuben County, 65% are from single-parent households; 8% don’t live with either parent; 19% have a household income less than $10,000 a year; 58% have a household income less than $30,000 a year; 54% are between the ages of 5-12, 46% are age 13 or older; 15% identify as a minority; and 31% have at least one parent incarcerated. Many of the youth served face multiple risk factors. The Agency continues to provide mentoring programs to the youth most in need.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana is a nonprofit organization that serves children in Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wells, and Whitley counties in Indiana and Branch and Hillsdale counties in Michigan. Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mission is to help children reach their potential through professionally supported one to one relationships with measurable impact. To learn how you can positively impact a child’s life, donate or volunteer visit www.BBBSNEI.org or call 1-888-456-1600. To find out more about the Steuben United Way visit www.unitedwaysteuben.org.