On Thursday evening we held our second Virtual Annual General Meeting recapping our 2020/21 year! During the AGM we talked about all the opportunities, challenges, and changes that 2020/21 brought to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Muskoka! We were thrilled to welcome some community guests to our meeting and enjoyed spending some time together looking back on all we’ve accomplished in our 2020/21 year.
If you would like to review our Annual Report please click here!
As we look ahead to our current 2021/22 year we are so excited to share with you our goals, projects, and strategies to make an even greater impact in Muskoka! Let’s take a walk through all we have accomplished so far this year and what is to come for the rest of this year at BBBS Muskoka:
So far this year we have been extremely successful in our grant writing! This year we have secured project grant funding from Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Union Gas/Enbridge, Kawartha Credit Union, New Horizons Senior Fund, Ontario Trillium Foundation, The Terence Haight Financial Assistance Program, and the Towns of Gravenhurst, Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes! To view all of our funders and supporters, click here!
The key goals of these project grants vary from one to the next but our main goals in these projects are to increase outreach in the community, increase advertising spending to get the word out about our programs, create a new fundraising plan for 2021/22, support virtual group programming, increase match monitoring of current matches, increase volunteer recruitment to decrease our waitlist, and launch new programs to serve more youth!
Our strategic goals for 2021-2023 are:
Increase our impact – we want to serve more kids and provide them with the support they need
Enhance our sustainability – we want to be here for years to come to support youth growing up in Muskoka.
Amplify our voice – we want to help people understand why mentoring is important and demonstrate the need for volunteerism in Muskoka.
Strengthen our community leadership – we want to be a leader in providing services to youth who need it therefore, creating healthier and happier communities.
What is the problem we are trying to solve?
80% of the youth we serve have experienced 2 or more Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Experiencing even 2 or 3 ACEs can increase a person’s risk of falling behind and facing health issues throughout their lifetime.
The good news is, there are steps we can take to help reduce the consequences of ACEs. We do this by teaching healthy relationship skills and connecting youth with a caring adult like a mentor.
The work we do with children and youth across Muskoka won’t get rid of the ACEs in their lives, but, it can help to mitigate the side effects.
Why is mentoring important?
Mentoring is a buffer against ACEs. When BBBS mentoring programs provide children who are facing adversity with a trusting, developmental relationship through mentoring, we are contributing to positive development and the prevention of negative health complications in adulthood such depression, anxiety, and bullying behaviors.
Our mentorship programs also offer the opportunities for kids to just be kids! We offer fun and inclusive events that help kids have fun!
How are you impacting youth?
We ignite potential in the youth we serve by teaching our matches how to create developmental relationships that express care, challenge growth, provide support, share power and expand possibilities.
Developmental relationships are bidirectional meaning each person is contributing to and benefitting from the relationship. Developmental relationships contribute to a number of critical outcomes, including educational performance, behavioral choices, and perseverance in the face of difficulties and distractions.
We ensure these developmental relationship characteristics are being met through consistent match monitoring and support from our agency.
The future is bright for our agency and we are so excited to continue our important work making a difference in the lives of young people in Muskoka! Thank you to all of our supporters, funders, and donors who understand the importance of mentoring and help work every day to a future where every child in Muskoka who needs a mentor, can have a mentor!
We would be nowhere with out all of you!