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
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,
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.
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.
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
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
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.