Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson is showing off its new facelift and fully renovated interior this weekend, thanks to charitable folks who have contributed to improving the lives of children by donating both money and time to the organization.
A special thanks goes out to the Warden Family, who made the important remodel possible, according to local CEO Marie Logan. The Warden Family donated the lead gift for the renovations, which started last year. The building has been renamed “The Warden Family Mentoring Center.”
On Saturday, January 10, Big Brother’s Big Sisters of Tucson will have an open house from 3 to 5 p.m. to exhibit the newly renovated Downtown building, located at 160 E. Alameda Street, which houses one of America’s favorite organizations. Parents, children and community volunteers will have the chance to scope out new training rooms, meeting rooms, and an open spacious atmosphere that captures the essence of collaboration, a fundamental ideology for an organization whose mission is to mentor children.
The original Downtown location was made possible 22 years ago, when Angel Charity for Children, Inc. donated money for the building. Logan is happy that Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson was able to raise enough money again to fund the renovation of such an important asset, the very building that provides space for organizers, mentors and families. The new look is more inviting, according to Logan, who was not a fan of the iron bars formerly surrounding the courtyard.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson has provided mentoring for over 500 kids this year and the organization expects a growth rate of 10% to 15% each year, Logan says. The local goal for BBBS of Tucson is to provide mentoring for over 1000 children and teens.
Mentoring a young person is a rewarding experience for both mentee and mentor. Big Brothers Big Sisters is the largest and oldest mentoring organization for children. The organization has a successful formula for matching community volunteers with families and children, providing space for a successful match between Bigs and Littles. Once the connection is made, a relationship ensues that lasts for life, in the way that sibling relationships do.
Community volunteers who become a “Big Brother” or “Big Sister” are adults who are role models and who can enrich the life of a young person through simple encouragement and fun activities. Big Brothers Big Sisters screens applying volunteers to ensure safety and success within the match between Big and Little.
A mentor is someone who “imparts wisdom to and shares knowledge with a less experienced colleague.” Mentoring is a truly altruistic action; it’s the kind of giving that feels better than getting. In return, the mentor gets the biggest gift of all – the magic of making a young person smile and the fuzzy vibes that come with knowing you did something good for your community. It is a rare gift. Volunteers know it well. Bigs and Littles value it for life.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson is open again for business. Visit the Downtown location on January 10 between 3 and 5pm and check out the new look, or stop by during business hours any time. The organization also has clothing drop-off boxes around town, locations are posted on the website. For more information, or to volunteer or donate please visit the website or call (520) 624-2447.
The power of kindness is infinite.
This article was originally published in Downtown Tucsonan on January 7, 2015.