BY: Frances Milburn
Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) fills a very important niche in communities around the United States. By matching a strong adult with a child who may need extra attention, this organization helps to make for a healthier next generation, one child at a time. BBBS, founded in 1904 as Big Brothers, is one of the oldest and largest volunteer organizations of its kind in this country.
Our local organization was started in the 1970s and has been active ever since. There is both a community-based and school-based program that serves children in Watertown, Beaver Dam, Horicon, Juneau, Mayville and all the areas in between. Betsy Bright has been Executive Director for almost 20 years. Her strong presence has created consistency and stability that keeps BBBS a valuable program in this area.
BBBS is always looking for new volunteers to help our local children for both the one-to-one community-based program and the School Buddies program. As a former middle school teacher in Watertown, I observed many Big Buddy partnerships at school. I always saw engaged adults and glowing kids – a big reward for a small amount of time.
When I was widowed with 3 young boys in 1991, I was delighted and relieved when all 3 of my sons were matched with a Big Brother. Each had a unique, fulfilling relationship with his “Big.” These men became part of our family, and the friendships lasted through high school graduation and into their adult lives. My sons are now adults – an engineer in Madison, a lawyer in NYC, and a business leader in Chicago. Each speaks with fondness of his Big Brother. In addition, and more importantly, they all give back to their communities in their own ways.
Mentors Needed for 2016: Our goal is to find mentors for the 30 or so children throughout the county that need them. Too few young people have someone to provide them encouragement and support. Call today to find out how you can Start Something BIG in a child’s life. “Be Someone Who Matters to Someone Who Matters.” To learn more, please call Executive Director Betsy Bright at (920) 261-2315 or visit our website at www.bbbsdodgewatertown.org
Put photo of Kate Meyer by the text below: Big Brothers Big Sisters spotlights case manager Kate Meyer: Kate grew up in Dodge County and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Carroll University in 1998. Her professional experience includes work with victims of domestic violence, juveniles who are entering the court system and school social work. Kate works at the Beaver Dam office located at the Seippel Center for the Arts. Please call Kate at 920-344-0667 if you are interested in mentoring or would like more information.