Joe and Mary are a young couple living in Edmonton. After a long day of work, sometimes at two different jobs, they come home to spend a few precious minutes of quality time with their three young kids. Sometimes they struggle to make ends meet while also finding time for their little ones, but usually it all works out. Joe’s family lives in Ontario and Mary’s are up in St. Paul so they can’t often rely on the support a family would normally provide. Knowing that they needed to find help, they got in touch with Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters (BGCBigs). Their daughter is matched to a Big Sister and the youngest son attends a local community Club while he waits for a Big Brother. Unfortunately, the oldest boy, almost a teen, isn’t interested in the Club, so he spends his evenings at home watching TV or gaming. He’s also on the waiting list for a Big and his parents hope that BGCBigs can find him one soon. Sometimes Joe and Mary feel isolated from their community, but there are two occasions where they truly feel hopeful.
The BGCBigs Annual Summer Picnic and Holiday Party are both events that bring together the entire BGCBigs community of people who care about kids. Both Joe and Mary make sure to get those Saturdays off work so they can spend time with their kids, treat them to carnival games and face painting and hot dogs at the picnic and a turkey dinner and gifts from Santa at the Holiday Party. The kids talk about it for weeks afterwards and it’s become a little family tradition to be at both. Maybe best of all, it helps Joe and Mary reconnect with their community and they remember they have a strong foundation to lean on when things get tough.
Those events are two of our favourite times of year at BGCBigs. We love bringing together over 1500 of our kids, their families, and volunteers. We want people to feel connected to us and to each other, because a stronger community means we can build stronger, more resilient, and more confident young people. And those events might be one of the few occasions where our families get to meet each other and treat their kids to a day of uninterrupted fun for absolutely no cost.
You can help make these events possible for our families.
Join the Great Canadian Giving Challenge! Throughout the month of June, every dollar donated to BGCBigs through Canada Helps earns us a chance to win $10,000! $10,000 is what we need to make our Annual Picnic and Holiday Party possible for another year.
Plus the money you donate will immediately enable BGCBigs to provide quality after school and mentoring programs to nearly 5,000 children in Edmonton and the surrounding areas. The kids who take part in our programs live in your neighbourhood. We make sure they have somewhere safe to go after school, before mom or dad or grandma get home. We make sure they have an additional caring adult in their life to help guide them down the right path. We make sure they have access to the tools they need to build their self-esteem, graduate from highschool, and become successful adults and future leaders.
Here are some concrete examples of what your donation can do:
- $3 – Provides 3 kids with a hot meal in one of our Clubs
- $12 – Enables 2 families to attend our Summer Picnic & Holiday Party
- $25 – Provides training materials for 1 Volunteer
- $50 – Provides 2 Big-Little Matches with an opportunity to attend an event together
- $250 – Allows 40 kids to access an art or cultural opportunity they wouldn’t otherwise have access too