When a police officer is matched with a child in a one-to-one mentoring relationship, there is a potential for positive outcomes for not only the Little and Big but also the whole community. Bigs in Blue is a Big Brothers Big Sisters program with a goal of building bridges between youth and police.
At a press conference in Dallas in March, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America announced that 13 cities have been awarded grants to start or expand Bigs in Blue programs. BBBSA awarded $560,000 in grant funding, with seven cities receiving funds from WellCare, the first corporate partner to support Bigs in Blue. WellCare is contributing $250,000 per year for three years and encouraging its own employees to volunteer as Bigs.
The cities awarded grants in the first round are listed with the funder of their grant noted in parentheses:
Austin, Texas (BBBSA)
Chicago, Illinois (WellCare)
Columbia, South Carolina (WellCare)
Dallas, Texas (BBBSA)
Houston, Texas (BBBSA)
Los Angeles, California (BBBSA)
Louisville, Kentucky (WellCare)
New York, New York (WellCare and BBBSA)
Omaha, Nebraska (WellCare)
Orlando, Florida (WellCare)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (BBBSA)
Roanoke, Virginia (BBBSA)
Tampa, Florida (WellCare and BBBSA)
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is actively raising funds to provide grants to all 110 agencies that requested funding to start or expand Bigs in Blue in their communities.