Apr 11, 2008
GUELPH, ON, April 11 /CNW/ - A $10,000 donation from The Co-operators is helping Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph (BBBSG) reach out to potential volunteers and new funding sources, says Michael Fox, president of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph. An increase in volunteers could mean the difference between a child obtaining a Big Brother or Big Sister or remaining on the waiting list. At any given time, about 80 local boys and girls are waiting for a match with an adult mentor. The need is particularly strong for male volunteers. In fact, 80 per cent of the children on the waiting list are boys who will wait an average of three years before being matched with a Big Brother. BBBSG provides services to children from the ages of five to 16 years. The organization currently runs five different mentoring programs in Guelph. "The Co-operators has been a dedicated supporter of BBBSG and has exhibited outstanding leadership in their commitment to the community and to children. Our agency is very pleased to have been selected as the recipient of this generous donation," Fox said. The funding will enable BBBSG to carry out a four-phase re-branding and promotional campaign, including the development of new brochures, posters and fact sheets; recruitment videos aimed at both potential volunteers and corporate partners; and membership in a database through which the organization gains access to new sources of potential funding. The final phase of the campaign is expected to be in place by late 2008. "Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph is an organization that makes a significant difference to the lives of girls and boys in our city," said Kathy Bardswick, The Co-operators president and CEO. "Often, all it takes to affect the life of a child positively is time spent with him or her, listening and doing simple activities together. Responding to this kind of request to help build their volunteer services truly is a perfect fit between The Co-operators values and our desire to strengthen community programs as much as we can." About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph's mission is to promote the healthy development of children and youth of our community through a variety of quality mentoring programs. BBBSG is committed to the recruitment of volunteers dedicated to upholding the values and principles of the organization and to those we serve. BBBSG serves over 400 children in the Guelph community; and more than 330 volunteers contribute over 25,000 hours to help meet the goals of the agency. In all endeavours, we will act with integrity and create an environment that encourages teamwork and respect. About The Co-operators: Based in Guelph, Ontario, The Co-operators is a group of Canadian companies offering home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators Group Limited is a 100 per cent Canadian-owned co-operative with assets of $7 billion. It is owned by a group of Canadian co-operatives, credit unions and like-minded organizations. It is well known for its community involvement, and is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada.
For further information: Leonard Sharman, The Co-operators, 1-877-795-7272, ext. 2707; Jessica Bowes, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph, (519) 824-5154, ext. 223