HSBC Bank Canada has a long standing relationship with Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton & Area (BGCBigs). Their commercial and philanthropic efforts to produce sustainable growth involve investing in the future skills of their communities – an initiative that fits naturally within the scope of BGCBigs. Our programs are geared towards the healthy development of all children. We want to provide children with the resources and life skills necessary to achieve success now and in the future. Since 2015, HSBC has donated $175,000 in support of our programs and their impact after five years is nothing short of remarkable.
In 2015, HSBC donated funds in support of our after-school literacy and homework programs. These programs were run in all 9 of the club sites and targeted newcomer, immigrant and Aboriginal children and youth with the goal of providing academic support for youth who may not receive it at home. Many of our parents living in impoverished conditions often lack the personal or financial capacity to provide effective parenting support, so these after-school programs are crucial for the healthy development and future success of their children. Immigrant children facing language barriers can receive the tutoring they need to be successful in a new and intimidating country. Healthy snacks and a safe place to express oneself provide children with a basis for positive development – a prerequisite for academic improvement. Thanks to HSBC Bank Canada, in 2015-2016, 1654 children and youth had access to homework and literacy programming and we were able to provide over 50,000 snacks and meals to these children during that time period.
Due to the success of these programs, in 2017, HSBC again donated funds to sustain the after-school literacy and homework programs. Thanks to HSBC’s generosity, the number of children we served was significantly higher than we anticipated. We were able to open an additional 4 after-school sites in Edmonton’s inner-city areas and we also piloted homework and literacy programming during the summer months to help prepare newcomer and immigrant children for the start of the school year in September.
The generosity doesn’t end there. In 2018, HSBC supported our Skilled 4 Success program, a new career mentorship program that provides skill training, teaches resume building, and improves employability by providing networks for youth who have none. Statistics show that over 70% of young people obtain employment through family networks. For immigrant, newcomer, or vulnerable youth, these networks are usually absent. This program prepares youth and provides employment networks for them, broadening their future opportunities. Thanks to HSBC, this program has helped 14 youth find jobs, and over 70 youth receive job readiness training and support.
HSBC continues to invest in our programs and provide opportunities for our kids. This year they chose to support our mentoring programs – programs that match kids with caring mentors. It is well recognized that the presence of caring, capable, and committed relationships with young people is the most important developmental asset associated with positive youth development. HSBC’s contribution allows us to provide In School Mentoring services to an additional 55 children. These kids will be provided with the 1 to 1 emotional, mental, and academic support they need to achieve success now and later in life, and it’s all thanks to HSBC for making that possible. From everyone in our agency and from the children and families whose lives you are changing daily – thank you, HSBC Bank Canada! We are incredibly humbled by your continued investment in our agency. Our kids are reaching for the stars, and thanks to HSBC, we’re confident they will be able to reach them.