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Mentor 2.0 Match, Big Brother Brandon and Little Brother Dakota

Big Brother Brandon and Little Brother Dakota have been matched since the fall of 2016 in the Mentor 2.0 program. Brandon and Dakota spent their first year getting to know one another and talked mostly about football. Brandon works for IMG Vol Network and promotes the Volunteers through sales and advertising. Since the Volunteers are Dakotas favorite sports team, he and Brandon hit it off immediately.

Brandon joined the program because he recognized how challenging high school can be and he wanted to help guide a student in the right direction. Dakota joined the program because he wanted someone to help him stay out of trouble and to improve his grades.

At the beginning of Dakota’s freshman year, he had more disciplinary referrals than any other freshman. He lacked motivation and focus, but Brandon provided him constant encouragement and support. At one point in the school year, Dakota’s family moved to a different area and he was no longer zoned to attend his school. When Dakota learned that he was moving and would no longer be involved in the Mentor 2.0 program, he called his mom to tell her that he couldn’t leave his school. As a result, Dakota’s mom set goals for him to achieve and agreed that as long as he kept his grades up she would make the effort to drive him to and from school so he could stay in the Mentor 2.0 program. Dakota has kept up his end of the deal and has not only kept his grades up but he has also avoided ISS and OSS entirely this year. He is currently the most improved student in the Mentor 2.0 program. We are proud of the strides that Dakota has made in school and with his mentor Brandon!

Find out more about becoming a Mentor 2.0 volunteer this fall at TennesseeBig.org. #TennesseeBig #BeABig

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee named one of top agencies in the nation by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

Contact
Brent Waugh, Chief Executive Officer
Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee
865-243-3879
BWaugh@tennesseebig.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

KNOXVILLE, TN (April 23, 2018) – Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee is proud to announce that the Big Brothers Big Sisters Nationwide Leadership Council has identified the agency as a 2017 Pinnacle Award Winner.

The Pinnacle Award recognizes the very best agencies in America for increasing their revenue and growing their overall number of children served, year over year, for two or more consecutive years. In the past year, BBBS-ETN has served 850 children and grown its local services by more than 5 percent.

“The Pinnacle Award recognizes the dedication of Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee’s leadership, staff, board, and volunteers to provide the highest quality programming for the children we serve,” said Brent Waugh, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee. “It’s also a testament to our donors, whose support of our mission is phenomenal, and truly allowed us to reach this milestone.”

In 2017, the agency served nearly 850 children, on track to reach its goal of 1,000 by the organization’s 50th anniversary in 2020. Additional BBBS-ETN highlights in 2017 include:

-Expanding its innovative, technology-enriched Mentor 2.0 program to a second class at South Doyle High School.
-Awarding the first round of BBBS-ETN scholarships, allowing three Littles to be one step closer to making their higher education dreams a reality.
-Inducting the three honorees into the inaugural BBBS-ETN Hall of Fame class: William “Bill” Jolly, Alex “Bo” Shafer, and Al Williams.
-Launching “Bigs in Blue,” a program that connects mentees with public safety professionals who help with social skills, self confidence, and interactions with family and peers.

“This honor shows how strongly our community supports mentoring,” said David Bratcher, BBBS-ETN board president. “It is also a testament to the hard work done by the agency’s staff, who are committed to making sure more children in East Tennessee receive the benefits of mentorship.”

“We are so proud of the growth that Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee has experienced, and we are pleased to recognize that success with the Pinnacle Award,” said Pam Iorio, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. “We thank Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee for its tireless work in service of our mission and commitment to serving more children in the East Tennessee area.”

Out of nearly 300 Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies, BBBS-ETN is one of only ten agencies that will be recognized as Pinnacle Award Winners at the 2018 Big Brothers Big Sisters National Conference in St. Louis, Missouri on June 26.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee
Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee provides at-risk children with strong and enduring, professionally supported one‐to‐one relationships that change lives for the better, forever. BBBS-ETN is in its 47th year of serving area youth through mentorship matches. More information available at tennesseebig.org.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
Big Brothers Big Sisters ensures that the children in its program achieve measurable outcomes, including educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors, higher aspirations, greater confidence, and better relationships. This mission has been the cornerstone of the organization’s 114-year history. With nearly 300 Affiliates across the country, Big Brothers Big Sisters has served more than 2 million children (“Littles”) in the past 10 years. Learn more at bigbrothersbigsisters.org.

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Mentor 2.0 Match, Big Sister Meghan and Little Sister Monica

Big Sister Meghan and Little Sister Monica have been matched in the Mentor 2.0 program since September 2017. Meghan and Monica had an instant connection and have been good friends from the beginning. Meghan is helping Monica develop her ideas for her future. Monica would like to open her own salon one day and is interested in going to college for business. Meghan has a background in business and is able to give Monica encouragement and a realistic picture of what to expect. Monica wrote to Meghan last week in her “In 10 years…” poem that she hopes in 10 years from now she will be able to be a mentor at BBBS-ETN like Meghan. This is how Meghan responded to Monica:

“I also am so thrilled to see that you would like to be a BBBS-ETN mentor in the next 10 years. You would make a wonderful Big since you are encouraging to others and very empathetic. I hope that our experience together continues to reinforce your desire to be a mentor yourself! It has been an extremely rewarding and beneficial experience for me personally to have you in my life! Additionally, I think spending time volunteering in 10 years or less is a wonderful goal. Always make time to lend a hand to others. I encourage you to definitely volunteer at a shelter like you mentioned and maybe even bring some of your new friends that you make by then with you!”

These two have a special relationship and we can’t wait to watch it grow over the next couple of years!

Find out more about becoming a Mentor 2.0 volunteer this fall at TennesseeBig.org. #TennesseeBig #BeABig

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Out-of-this-world match: Big Brother Gene and Little Brother Brennon

Big Brother Gene and Little Brother Brennon have been matched in BBBS-ETN’s community-based program for one year. Even though Gene roots for the Georgia Bulldogs and Brennon supports the Tennessee Vols, they enjoy going to sporting events together. In fact, if they had a chance to go to outer space, they would name their rocket the “The Georgia Volunteer”.

When they aren’t at a sporting event or doing church activities, they may be at the WJBE radio station. Gene, the station’s Program Director, enjoys bringing Brennon with him to show him what happens being the scenes. Brennon enjoys playing video games and is creative, so he enjoys learning about technology and media!

Since these two are so out-of-this-world, we decided to ask them a few questions about their match (and outer space).

Can you name one thing on your bucket list? We want to go to the Aquarium!
Which planet is your favorite? Saturn, because it is colorful and has rings.
What is your proudest moment as a match? Gene: I am the most proud of Brennon when he passes his tests and makes good grades. He works hard to be a good student.”

Trivia Question: What percent of the Earth equals the size of the moon? Gene and Brennon: “40 percent!”  |  Answer: 27 percent  (Almost! Great guess you two!)

When you Bowl For Kids’ Sake, you help BBBS-ETN make more life-changing matches like Gene and Brennon. This year, BBBS-ETN hopes to match 125 children with a mentor through the funds raised at Bowl For Kids’ Sake.

#BeStellarETN and #Bowl4KidsETN at BowlForKidsToday.org!

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Mentor 2.0 Match, Little Brother Zach and Big Brother Chad

Little Brother Zach and Big Brother Chad were matched in the Mentor 2.0 program during Zach’s freshman year. Chad and Zach quickly bonded over their love of the outdoors, animals, and recreational activities, such as mountain biking. Their bond deepened when Zach realized Chad bore a striking resemblance to his childhood idol, Chuck Norris.

Chad was a Little Brother himself and has been so impressed by Zach’s growth from a shy, homeschool transfer to the young man he is today. Chad says, “I’m continually impressed by Zach’s maturity. He is reflective and observant, similar to my own personality. I’m so lucky to have Zach, someone that is willing to do his work, connect, and have conversations.” Chad says he looks forward to helping Zach achieve his goals of becoming a police officer and to seeing their relationship grow over the next three years.

Find out more about becoming a Mentor 2.0 volunteer this fall at TennesseeBig.org. #TennesseeBig #BeABig

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Big Brothers Big Sisters ETN named one of top agencies in nation by BBBSA

Friends,

I have some very BIG news to share!

Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee is excited to announce that we have been named a 2017 Pinnacle Agency by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. This award recognizes the dedication of our leadership, staff, board, and volunteers to provide the highest quality programming for the children we serve. BBBS-ETN is one of 10 affiliates out of 300 nationwide, and the only in the state of Tennessee, to receive this honor!

Pinnacle Agencies met or exceeded the following goals for the last two years:

  • Served a minimum of 150 children and raised $150,000 in revenue. (BBBS-ETN served 850 children last fiscal year, and we’ve set a goal of reaching 1,000 by 2020.)
  • Achieved a community-based 12-month retention rate of more than 73%.
  • Achieved a site-based 12-month retention rate of more than 52%.
  • Showed growth in active matches—in our case, to 670 active matches.
  • Posted a positive net income at the end of last fiscal year.

With you by our side, we look forward to continuing to achieve our goals, further our mission, and transform the East Tennessee community, one match at a time.

Thank you for making this possible.

Best,

Brent Waugh
Chief Executive Officer
Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee

P.S. Stay tuned during the month of April as we announce our Pinnacle Award widely, including on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Remembering Edna Mae Geary Eickman

Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee remembers Edna Mae Geary Eickman, who passed away on March 19, 2018.

For ten years in the 1980s and 1990s, Edna served as Program Director for BBBS-ETN, where she matched hundreds of children with mentors. Edna won countless awards and honors for her dedicated service, including “Advocate of the Year” by the East Tennessee Council on Children and Youth and recognition by “Tennessee Voices for Children.”

Prior to BBBS-ETN, Edna served as a counselor in the Child Welfare Division of Contra Costa County Social Services, was a member of the National Probation and Parole Association, and the first female to visit San Quentin Penitentiary as the liaison for children in placement, incarcerated parents, and family rehabilitation.

In 1965 and 1967 she and her husband decided to adopt two children, and at that point, she became a stay-at-home mom. During that time, she was very active in the PTA and served as Volunteer Coordinator for the Lafayette School District in Lafayette, CA. After her husband James accepted a position with Knoxville TVA in 1980, the family moved to Knoxville, where she continued on to become the PTA president of Farragut High School.  After putting her life on hold to take care of their children, Edna returned to the workforce as Program Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee.

Edna enjoyed traveling, spending time with her family, and most importantly assisting children and families in any way she could. She retired at the age of 85 and passed at the age of 88. Her life and works will always be remembered and honored at BBBS-ETN and beyond.

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Set your sights on your next BFKS fundraising goal

Each and every dollar you raise for Bowl for Kids’ Sake makes a difference in the life of a child.

Go to infinity and beyond with your personal fundraising goal to receive the gifts above. Reach for the stars–the more you raise, the more you earn! (Note that each prize level also includes the gifts before it.)

Got your eye on a prize but need help getting there? Let us help. By utilizing shared BFKS resources, personalizing your personal fundraising page, learning how to recruit teammates and how to ask for money, and creatively fundraising, you can hit your goal in no time! And, remember—our team is always available to provide resources and answer any questions you might have—just call us at 865.523.9455 or email development@tennesseebig.org .

P.S.- After your fundraising page is set up, be sure to check in with your team captain to ensure your team has its lane reserved! If you are a team captain and your lane is not reserved, click here!

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Out-of-this-world match: Big Sister Sabrina and Little Brother De’Aries

Big Sister Sabrina and Little Brother De’Aries have been matched in BBBS-ETN’s community-based program for 6.5 years (since December 2011). They enjoy going to sporting events and wood working. The duo likes to volunteer with foster animals and if they had a chance to go to outer space, they would name their rocket the “Vols Rocketship”.

When they aren’t laughing at each other during blindfolded food-guessing contests, they are probably at the football field. “Watching him score his first touchdown was amazing”, said Sabrina, “it was one of the most proud moments for me as a mentor because he had worked so hard”.

Since these two are so out-of-this-world, we decided to ask them a few questions about their match (and outer space).

Do you two have nicknames for each other? Sabrina: “De’Aries’ nickname is “D” and mine is “Beana”.
Can you name one thing on your bucket list? Sabrina: “I would love to take D to New York City one day.” D’Aries: “I really want to meet Alvin Kamera.”
What do you like most about your Big/Little? Sabrina: “D is so kind and gentle.” D’Aries: “Sabrina teaches me the importance of not giving up and how to be patient.”
Which planet is your favoriteSabrina: “Earth.” D’Aries “Earth.” (Ours too)

Trivia Question: How old is the universe in light years? Sabrina and D’Aries: “A Million!”  |  Answer: 13.7 Billion Years
(So close, and yet so far, far away. Great guess you two!)

When you Bowl For Kids’ Sake, you help BBBS-ETN make more life-changing matches like Sabrina and De’Aries. This year, BBBS-ETN hopes to match 125 children with a mentor through the funds raised at Bowl For Kids’ Sake.

#BeStellarETN and #Bowl4KidsETN at BowlForKidsToday.org!

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BFKS Creative Fundraising

In this week’s update, the team at Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee provides you some creative ideas for fundraising with your team — especially for those of you who have already shared your Bowl for Kids’ Sake page via social media and email.

Big Sister Stephanie Smith (pictured above) recently celebrated her birthday in a BIG WAY. She gathered with friends and family at the YMCA, dressed in neon and side-ponytails, to dance the night away and raise funds for our agency. By asking her guests to donate to BBBS-ETN in lieu of gifts, Stephanie has raised more than $3,500 for Bowl For Kids’ Sake 2018! Below, we list a few creative ways to raise money to support matches of Bigs and Littles, while having a little fun along the way.

CREATIVE FUNDRAISING IDEAS

Asking for donations isn’t always easy, but fundraising for Bowl For Kids’ Sake doesn’t have to be intimidating.

Check out these creative ideas for your team fundraising, and remember that we’re about a month away from Bowl for Kids’ Sake 2018!

  • Hold a drawing at work. Ask your employer if you can sell tickets to give your co-workers a chance to win a two-hour lunch, a half or whole day off, or a prime parking spot.
  • Schedule a game night. Host a Monopoly, poker, bingo, or other game night and charge “admission” to benefit BBBS-ETN.
  • Go green for Spring. Try selling fresh cut flowers or bouquets from your garden.
  • Make a little change. Ask your local bank or the businesses you frequent to put a coin jar at their register. Be sure to decorate the jar so donors know who you are and what organization you are raising funds for. (The BBBS-ETN team is more than happy to prepare you with talking points!)
  • Bake sale. Hold a bake sale at church, work, or school. Consider selling doughnuts, pastries, and coffee in the morning.
  • Set a personal challenge. Grow a beard, take the stage at karaoke night, or paint yourself purple. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as your friends would pay good money to see it happen. Make sure you post your progress on social media!
  • Good jeans. Ask your company and/or other companies in your building to sell tickets to a jean day for employees.
  • Schedule a share-the-profit event. If you have a family member or friend that owns or manages a local business, ask them if they would like to donate a portion of a day’s profit to BBBS-ETN!
  • Set up a snack bar. Create a cart where employees can purchase snacks like sandwiches, chips, cookies, juices and soft drinks. Open your snack bar for a week and have all the proceeds go toward your fundraising goal.
  • Matching gifts. Many companies may give a flat donation toward your fundraising goal, while others may have gift matching programs. Check with your HR representative to see if your company offers this program.
  • Nearly new sale. Collect your team’s gently used clothing or household items and host a weekend sale. Take photos of your items beforehand and post in Facebook groups or on Instagram stories to generate a buzz.
  • Create a recipe book. Gather recipes from team and family members and compile the most delicious ones to create a recipe book to sell to friends and co-workers. You might even theme your recipe books to feature desserts or healthy meal options.

Or, throw a party with a purpose like Stephanie did!

By the way, if you missed our tips on how to recruit team members and how to ask for donations, click here to learn more. Need help setting up your personal site? We’ve got you covered.

And, remember—our team is always available to provide resources and answer any questions you might have—just call us at 865.523.9455 or email development@tennesseebig.org .

P.S.- After your fundraising page is set up, be sure to check in with your captain to ensure your team has its lane reserved! If you are a team captain and your lane is not reserved, click here

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