"Bigs in Blue" Launches in San Diego to Build Bridges Between Officers & Youth
By: Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
"Our officers get so much out of spending time in the community getting to know the people they so proudly serve," said Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman. "I have seen the positive impact our officers have when they become Bigs, and Bigs in Blue will make it possible for more of our officers to be able to give back to our community."
Bigs in Blue is the first national campaign of its kind, supplementing the efforts of law enforcement officers mentoring youth in communities across the country. SDPD officers will have the opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child by volunteering their time, at least twice a month for a year or more. Bigs in Blue matches will also have special activities available, such as surfing clinics, fishing derbies, and other enrichment activities, thanks to BBBS of SDC and STAR/PAL, a nonprofit partnering with BBBS of SDC to provide enrichment activities for underserved youth, led by law enforcement officers.
"We know that mentoring helps children overcome obstacles and reach their potential, and we believe it can play a role in building understanding and bridging divides throughout our community," said S. Wayne Kay, CEO of BBBS of SDC. "Our goal is to match at least 25 officers with under-served youth in one-to-one mentoring relationships in the first year of the program."
Local supporters Wells Fargo Bank and ESET, along with grant funding from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, provided financial support which cover the initial costs of volunteer recruitment efforts and training; the process of matching mentees ("Littles") with mentors ("Bigs"); and ongoing professional support for volunteers, children, and their families.
"For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been fostering friendships that bring communities closer together," said Big Brothers Big Sisters President and CEO Pam Iorio. "Bigs in Blue makes it possible for positive outcomes for the children, the officers, and communities."
In collaboration with community officials and local law enforcement departments, Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliates are starting Bigs in Blue programs in cities across the United States, including Austin; Chicago; Dallas; Houston; Los Angeles; Louisville; New York City; Omaha; Orlando; Philadelphia;
To learn more, visit SDBigs.org/BigsinBlue or BigsinBlue.org.
Lauren Klinger, BBBSA Communications Manager
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County
For 56 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County has operated under the belief that every child has the ability to succeed and thrive in life. Big Brothers Big Sisters helps children achieve measurable positive outcomes, including educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors, higher aspirations, greater confidence and healthier relationships. By partnering with parents and guardians, schools, corporations and other community members, Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs children ("Littles") with screened volunteer mentors ("Bigs") to monitor and support one-to-one mentoring matches that build safe, enduring relationships. Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity, often from single or low-income households or families where a parent is incarcerated or serving in the military, with strong, enduring, professionally-
Learn how you can positively impact a child's life, donate or volunteer today at www.SDBigs.org, or call (858) 536-4900.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity with strong, enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. 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 113-year history. With over 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 www.bigbrothersbigsisters.org.