Thousands of children over the course of 55 years have been guided in positive directions, thanks to the selfless actions of their mentors from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa.
A luncheon was held Thursday at SingleSpeed in Waterloo to commemorate the important anniversary and milestone. Speeches were given by Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart, former Executive Director Jeff Fitzpatrick, Community Partner Debbie Roth, and KWWL’s Abby Turpin, who is an honorary Board of Directors member and their Celebrity Ambassador. Testimonials of the organization’s impact were given from Big Brother, Sauya Ammar and Little Sister, Kiana.
In 1963, the organization began mentoring services for boys in Waterloo. Girls became included in the 70s. But the beginning of Big Brothers Big Sisters began in the early 1900’s, according to BBBSNEIA:
“The roots of Big Brothers Big Sisters extend back to New York City in the early 1900’s when Ernest Coulter, a New York City court clerk, was seeing more and more boys come through his courtroom. At around the same time, the members of a group called Ladies of Charity were befriending girls who had come through the New York Children’s Court. That group would later become Catholic Big Sisters. Although the two groups were working separately, they both recognized that caring adults could help many of these kids stay out of trouble. That marked the beginning of the Big Brothers and Big Sisters movement.”
KWWL is proud to partner with BBBSNEIA to honor the connections made between Littles and Bigs, and to help find more mentors in our area. Learn more here about the “Little of the Month” and “Waiting for my Mentor” initiatives.
Also, in honor of the 55th anniversary, the organization has started a campaign to recruit 55 Big Brothers. Learn more on the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa website.
KWWL congratulates Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa, and looks forward to seeing the positive impact they will continue to make in the many years and decades to come.