William J. and Bonnie L. Hefner Foundation Awards Big Brothers Big Sisters $50,000

The Hefner Foundation grants Big Brothers Big Sisters $50,000 to renovate the Agency game room and to purchase books for the Real Men Read program.

The Agency game room is a special place for the waiting list children and the matches to spend time learning, exploring and bonding. Real Men Read provides Allen County second and third grade classrooms (approximately 6,200 children) a positive male role model volunteer to read books throughout the year to engage students’’ interest in reading. The men encourage literacy and a love for learning by reading. Each child in the Real Men Read program receives their own books to keep. The presence of books in the home has a greater influence on a child’s level of education than does the parent’s income, nationality or level of education.

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 1,580 youth served in the 13-county service area, 60% are from single-parent households; 11% not living with either parent; 19% have a household income less than $10,000 a year; 59% have a household income less than $30,000 a year; 67% are between the ages of 5-12; 33% are ages 13 and older; 46% identify as a minority; and 21% have at least one parent incarcerated. Many children served face multiple risk factors.

William J. & Bonnie L. Hefner Foundation was established in 1988 and is a private foundation held at the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne; Hefner Advisor Fund.

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.

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