Big Brothers Big Sisters Sees Exploding Growth in Mid and Upper Cape

Local mentoring agency maps its path to serve more children...
Mentoring in action... (Courtesy of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Cape Cod & the Islands)

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod & the Islands today announced the agency's growth and plans for continued expansion across Cape Cod and the Islands as the need for mentors continues to rise, in large part due to the hardships and pressures that families face resulting from the growing opioid epidemic.

Now four years into the agency’s five-year strategic growth plan, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod & the Islands is focused on accelerating its growth to serve additional youth and families on the Cape, the Islands and beyond. Leveraging unique programming and creative approaches to overcome existing challenges, the agency served 323 youth in FY 2017, adding 110 new matches – an 11 percent increase from FY 2016. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod & the Islands also experienced significant growth in the Mid-Cape region, where it now serves 109 children – a 70 percent increase in the past four years.

Under the leadership of Regional Director JR Mell, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod & the Islands established several innovative new programs and partnerships to deliver more impact than ever before to children in need of an adult mentor. With those initiatives in place, the agency is on course to meet its goal of matching 120 additional children in FY 2018.

Key highlights from the agency's recently completed fiscal year include:

  • Establishing “Bigs in Blue” programs in partnership with the Barnstable and Yarmouth Police Departments to connect youth (Littles) with current police officers (Bigs) to build strong, trusting, lasting relationships between law enforcement, the community and the families they serve
  • Increasing the total donations raised by 87 percent in four years as the result of newly-established special events and donor commitments made through the long-term sustainable model
  • Partnering with the Cape’s only four-year college, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, to give local youth the opportunity to be mentored by current students and experience college-life firsthand
  • Increasing efforts to support youth and families where a parent has fallen victim to substance abuse, with 33 percent of the current youth served being impacted by the opioid epidemic

“The need for positive, adult role models in the lives of children growing up on the Cape and the Islands is constantly growing, and our mission is to continue expanding our services and partnerships in order to reach them,” said Mell. “By 2019, we plan to serve 400 local youth annually by providing each child with a mentor who is dedicated to ensuring their personal, educational and professional success. We are grateful to our generous and supportive donors, partners and volunteers who have contributed to our momentous growth in the last several years and will continue to help us meet or exceed our goals.”

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