BBBS continues to help youth

Dear residents of Finney and Kearny counties:

We would like to say thank you and let you know that January is National Mentoring Month. Big Brothers Big Sisters is the only evidence-based, outcome-driven, one-to-one supervised mentoring agency in these two counties that provides effective mentoring relationships to youth.

What has BBBS done in Garden City, Holcomb, Deerfield and Lakin in the last year?

* BBBS has kept more than 1,200 kids ages 5 to 17 in school

* BBBS has kept more than 1,200 kids from using drugs and alcohol

* BBBS has helped more than 1,200 kids improve their grades and class participation

* BBBS has provided summer school mentoring for almost 200 kids in Garden City, some of those kids improved two grade levels in one summer

* BBBS provided a summer playground program in conjunction with Garden City Recreation and USD 457 that provided lunch and activities that fostered healthy choices and education on community resources all summer

* BBBS kept more than 1,200 kids from being delinquent or truant

* BBBS helped more than 1,200 kids feel great about themselves

How did they do it?

With more than 600 trained community volunteers who listened, advocated, helped with homework, laughed and cried with these kids.

And with donations and support from the community, including United Way, Finnup Foundation, the Finney County Community Health Coalition, John Lindner, and the city and county. If you are an individual or business owner who donated to BBBS, or you donated your time mentoring a child, your support truly made a difference in the lives of those children and the future of this community. We track every child who is enrolled in our programs, and the short-term benefits of mentoring are listed above. The long-term benefits to this community are a more skilled and competent workforce, lower crime rates and citizens who give back to their communities. More than 90 percent of the kids who have had a mentor through our local program have graduated high school, gone on to college and volunteered in the community.

They would like to say thank you.

TAMMY DAVIS

Garden City

Davis is executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Finney and Kearny Counties.