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BBBSG News for May 2015

Top News of the Month

Stroke! Stroke! Bigs and Littles Enjoy Environ-Mentoring Canoe Trip

girl with waterfall - 800x600Environ-Mentoring wrapped up for the summer with perhaps its most exciting outdoor activity yet, a canoe trip that our matches enjoyed at the Rockwood Conservation Area on May 17. A great number of canoes were in the water for this exciting opportunity, exploring caves and paddling close to waterfalls and other amazing nature settings. 

A gallery of photos from the day can be found here and we'll be offering another canoe trip during the Summer/Fall season of Environ-Mentoring, which will begin again in August. Thank you to everyone who helped make this initiative such a great success throughout its inaugural year.


Sound the Alarms! Big Bunch Visits the Rockwood Fire Hall

Instructions - 400x360

A eager group of Bigs and Littles had the exciting opportunity to visit the Rockwood Fire Hall on May 24. In an outing led by Big Bunch leader, Evan, who is also a firefighter, the groups learned about fire safety, while enjoying fun activities like escaping from a (mock) smoking building, target practice with the fire hose and dressing up in the firefighter's suits.

A gallery of images is available here for you to see. A great time was had by all, and special thanks to Evan for organizing this outing.


The Big Little Run is back, as we highlight a former Little Sister

Fabric logo finalThe Big Little Run - Summer Edition returns for its second year as our newest fundraising event, a 5km walk/run through the University of Guelph Arboretum on Sunday, Aug. 30th. Presented by our friends at Brokerlink, this exciting outing through the Arboretum's picturesque trails welcomes participants from all running backgrounds and skill levels, and we're especially encouraging families and big/little matches to take part. What better way to wrap up the summer season than with a bonding active outing in support of BBBSG?

Again, all registrations can take place through the Running Room's fundraising website here, which will also provide you with the template to solicit for and collect pledge donations from your friends, family, co-workers and colleagues. Past Big Little Run events have collectively raised more than $15,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph, and with your help, we're really looking to grow this summer fundraiser in its second year.

Jen Run 400x360With this event just a few short months away, now is a great time to highlight the amazing accomplishments by Jennifer-Lynn Schneider, a former Little Sister in the BBBSG programs, avid participant in the Big Little Run, and most recently, the winner of the women's division of the Waterloo Marathon on Sunday, April 26 - her greatest running accomplishment and one that saw her receive some amazing recognition in the local news, commending her perseverance.

Jennifer has always been one of the first to register for our Big Little Run events as well as one of the first runners across the finish line and we're so proud that she's developed into such an accomplished athlete. She speaks fondly of her relationship and memories with her "Big Sister" Jill, crediting her with having a great influence in helping her overcome life's challenges.

The Big Little Run has always focused on highlighting relationships between Bigs and Littles, couples, friends and co-workers. Participants often register in pairs or groups, using running and exercise as a vehicle to further develop their relationships. We hope that you'll join us on Aug. 30th for 5km of fun-filled fundraising in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph.

Man - We Need YOU!

Jonathan_Jesse_Soccer02_MRIn 2015, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph has set an ambitious goal of mentoring more than 600 children, a substantial increase over the 437 we served in 2014. This target comes in response to the greater needs of this community and greater demand for our school-based programs.

To meet the needs of the community and reach our 600-child goal, however, we are in desperate need of male mentors across all programs -- One-to-One, Big Bunch, ISM and Game On! -- so guys, we need your help! A Male Recruitment Committee has been struck, comprised of staff members and a number of current male volunteers, tasked with developing key strategies and action plans to bring more male volunteers into the program. Hopefully, you will notice a greater presence of our agency in the local community, seeking male applicants. We have also embarked on a collaborative male volunteer recruitment project with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Waterloo Region, who are experiencing a similar shortage in male volunteers. 

Boys-Youth-PlanningSportIt is no secret that young boys will wait the longest to be matched with their Big Brother -- some for as long as three years. If you are interested in becoming a Big Brother, or know someone who is, please don't hesitate to contact us today. The time commitment varies and we can accommodate many schedules. Children in Guelph are in need and you can help. Thank you for considering this invaluable and life-changing opportunity.


School-based Groups Enjoy Their Best Year Yet

Now that Go Girls!, Game On! and Play On! groups have ended for the 2014-2015 school year, BBBSG would like to thank all the volunteers who mentored with our programs. In the Fall of 2014 we had a very successful semester running 12 groups with many more requested. Fortunately, BBBSG was able to run an impressive 16 groups in Guelph area schools in the Winter 2015 semester. 

sbg logos 250x200Over the summer, all School-Based Groups will have their supplies replenished, mentor trainings revamped and new mentors interviewed for the upcoming school year. We have been lucky to work with some very dedicated and passionate mentors that have been excellent role models to young boys and girls in Guelph. We look forward to seeing new and returning volunteers in the Fall 2015 semester. 

“The school that I work at as a CYC has been fortunate to be hosting a Play On! group for 10 of our grade 5 and 6 girls. This social skills group facilitated by two fantastic volunteers, Megan and Connor, has been incredibly successful. The teachers have said their students work more cohesively in the classroom. They have said the girls return to class happy and that there has been 0% absenteeism on Wednesdays (group days).” –Sir Isaac Brock Public School 

“Participating in Go Girls was an incredibly touching and fun-filled experience! To revisit adolescence, and mentor young girls going through a vulnerable phase of life is rewarding and enlightening in itself. I didn't expect to walk away so transformed, with a renewed sense of how wonderful and empowering it is to be female. I will definitely be a repeat volunteer!" –Shwetha, Go Girls! Mentor 

BBBSG Loses a Close Friend

dave mcgowan

David McGowan was an amazing volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph for more than nine years and we are saddened to learn of his recent passing. David was initially a volunteer in our Group (Big Bunch) program, before being matched with Tyler, with whom he shared a mentoring relationship for nine years. 

We would like to extend our condolences to David's wife Brie, and daughter Grace, as well as Tyler and his family - his sisters, Jasmine and Madison, are both current little sisters with BBBSG, too. David will be greatly missed and he made a lasting impact.

Thank You, Mangla!

Mangla Shandal_300Mangla Shandal has been matched with her mentee for two school years and they have developed an awesome relationship. Mangla visits consistently and is always a stable, wise voice of reason. Her mentee can (and does) talk to Mangla about anything without fear of judgement. Mangla and her mentee have both really enjoyed their time together. Mangla frequently demonstrates to her mentee that she enjoys and values their relationship. For example, when her mentee moved to a new school this year, Mangla happily followed her to the new location. It's also never a burden for Mangla to visit - she considers herself lucky to be matched to such an awesome mentee! This is a truly mutually beneficial relationship! 

Thank you Mangla for being such an amazing mentor. Your mentee is lucky to have you in her life! Your dedication and commitment is absolutely leaving a lasting impression on your mentee! Thanks for showing her she has someone in her life who cares. For more information about our school-based programs, please visit our unique program website, www.mentoriffic.com.

New Matches & Match Anniversaries

New Matches for April & May 2015

At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph, we love facilitating new matches and providing a local child with the opportunity to gain life-changing mentoring from our incredible "Big" volunteers. Through our One-to-One Program and our In-School Mentoring Program, we've successfully matched many new kids in the past month and we can't wait to see the results!

New One-to-One Matches

Martyna & Jasmine N.
Kristen & Jasmine L.

Match Anniversaries for April & May 2015

There is something so rewarding about watching a "Big" and "Little" grow together over the years. At BBBSG, we're all about facilitating life-long friendships through our various mentoring programs. We love to celebrate our match anniversaries and reflect on how far some of these kids have come over the past years. Thank you so much for your commitment to this agency and the children we serve.

One-to-One/Couples for Kids Match Anniversaries

Jamie & Justin - 10 years
Deb & Mya - 6 years
Scott & Ruai - 2 years
Elayne & Lily - 1 year

Simon & Aidan - 6 years
Christine & Corbinne - 5 years
Scott & Kirk - 5 years
Nancy & Emma - 1 year

Big Bunch Leader Anniversaries

Deanna - 8 years
Bhavesh - 7 years
Rachel - 1 year
Dustin - 1 year

Did you miss out on something that happened at BBBSG? View older versions of our e-Newsletter here!