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ESTABLISHMENT & LOCATION

Originally addressing incidents of delinquent behavior in young boys, this agency was founded in 1972 in collaboration with Mayor Dan Hayes, Juvenile Probation, and other youth serving agencies. It provided the male youth of Elkhart County with positive role models to help shape their futures. Through help from various community organizations, and the seed money from the Heart City Kiwanis, all of the necessary funding and equipment were donated for the startup of this organization.

In 1974, Big Sisters was added to the program. By 1997, Big Couples and Big Families were added to the program as well. The local agency moved in 1990 to Elkhart County on CR 13 and has since served all of Elkhart County and the fringe of St. Joseph County, Indiana and Cass County, Michigan.

NATIONAL AFFILIATION

This local agency is a full member affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA), which was established in 1904. Operating in every state of the U.S., and in 12 countries worldwide, BBBSA is the premier mentoring organization. To ensure national standards are met, BBBS of Elkhart County is reviewed annually.

FUNDING

Over 57% of funds donated to BBBS of Elkhart County come from the Fall Dinner Auction and Bowl For Kids’ Sake fundraisers. The remaining revenue comes from individual contributions, the annual campaign, and various grants. In the first year, each individual match in the Elkhart County program has an annual cost of $1,000. Every contribution received helps provide a disadvantaged child the opportunity to be matched with a mentor, positive role model, and friend.

DONATION USES

1. Extensive screening: BBBS has one of the most comprehensive screening processes for volunteers in the nation, running extensive criminal history background checks, driving record checks, and sexual offender registry checks to assure the safety of the children we serve.

2. Making the Match: Each volunteer candidate is interviewed by our case managers to determine suitability. Their individual interests, background, personalities, even geographic locations, are carefully considered to ensure that they are matched with the right child. Our expert social workers also meet with and prepare each child’s family, to make sure that they are ready to welcome this special new person into their lives.

3. Professional Match Supervision: Our staff of dedicated, trained social workers supervises every match, communicating frequently with “Bigs”, “Littles”, and families, providing expert advice and suggesting activities to ensure that the relationships are safe, fun, and rewarding for all involved.

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© 2009 Big Brothers Big Sisters of Elkhart County, Inc.
59029 County Road 13, Elkhart, IN 46517
 
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