photo 2One of our longstanding funders, EPCOR, dropped by Enbridge during their corporate mentoring time on Wednesday, December 17 to present a Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters (BGCBigs) with a cheque.  Last year, they provided $20,000 to serve 20,000 meals in our clubs around the city. This year, they will support our Corporate Mentoring Program, helping to engage additional corporations as partners and grow the number of children who have positive adult role models in their lives.

BGCBigs Corporate Mentoring is an opportunity for companies to mentor children and youth right at their work site. Each week, children from a local school are bussed to the company to spend an hour with their mentor. Their time together is spend sharing books, completing school work, playing board games or doing a craft. Children and youth have the benefit of building a relationship with a caring adult which is proven to increase confidence and reduce behavioral problems.

Currently, BGCBigs has corporate mentoring partnerships with the University of Alberta, MacEwan University, Enbridge, Worley Parsons, Stantec, WELDCO, ATB Financial, and Intact Insurance. Those organizations have committed to provide their staff with paid work time to mentor kids, as well as a place on site to host activities between mentors and mentees. Sometimes, the employees take work time to visit the students in their schools instead. Deva_Zorina_sitting10 (1)

Last year, these companies mentored 146 kids in our community. They reported that 100 percent of their mentees were able to talk about their situations and 93 percent tried something new that year. They told us that over 90 percent of their mentees demonstrated increased confidence, improved literacy, and a more positive attitude in general.

“To be able to go to the work site and or to post-secondary campuses and learn about higher education and different career opportunities exposes children to different kinds of work environments and opportunities to see themselves in other professions,” says Kerry Woodland, director of service delivery.

We also know that when an organization encourages their employees to volunteer, those employees develop new interpersonal skills which enhance communication, teamwork and cross-functional relationships. They experience higher morale, renewed enthusiasm and meaningful improvements in their own mental and physical health.

“EPCOR has provided thousands of dollars to support various programs for our children in the past and we continue to be inspired by their generosity in stepping up to support our corporate mentoring program this year,” says Danisha Bhaloo, manager of fund development. “With their support we can not only maintain but grow our corporate partnerships because we know how valuable these experiences can be for our children and youth.”

On behalf of our children and families, we’d like to extend a huge thank you to EPCOR as well as the corporations currently mentoring children! Together, we are creating healthy community solutions that brighten our kids futures.

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