Many of these nonprofits, like Big Brothers Big Sisters, serve low-income and underserved populations. Our children, many of whom come from challenging circumstances, need mentors to help them successfully navigate life issues, make good choices and stand with them in all circumstances..
By way of background, the $1.9 million contribution, representing the single largest gift in our history, was part of a $122.6 million donation given to Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies across the nation. Since 2020, Scott has contributed a total of nearly $12.5 billion, including the gift to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, to at least 1,253 nonprofits, according to the Economic Times.
Many of these nonprofits, like Big Brothers Big Sisters, serve low-income and underserved populations. Our children, many of whom come from challenging circumstances, need mentors to help them successfully navigate life issues, make good choices and stand with them in all circumstances.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward is dedicated to igniting the power and promise of youth by creating professionally supported, one-to-one mentoring relationships between adult and youth, or “Bigs” and “Littles,” as we call them. Research proves out that these relationships have a profound positive impact on our youth. Littles in our program are: 46% less likely to use illegal drugs; 27% less likely to use alcohol; 52% less likely to skip school; and 33% less likely to hit someone.
In addition, Littles in the program are more success-oriented: 94% said they have a lot or some confidence they will achieve their goals; 93% said to have adults who care and look out for them is very important to helping them achieve their goals; and 80% said they feel their Bigs help them a lot.
Ensuring young people have access to powerful mentoring experiences that last a lifetime will be magnified by the extremely generous MacKenzie Scott gift. In terms of impact, our overarching goal is to increase the number of youth we serve by a minimum of 25% each year, so we may ignite the power and promise of youth in more children throughout Broward County.
While we’re still fine tuning the details, we plan to grow our organization to accommodate these additional youth. We plan to invest in staffing, infrastructure and technology to increase our capacity. One of our priorities is to move our headquarters to a location closer and more accessible to the families we serve. Our new facility will have additional space, including areas for Bigs and Littles to connect and interact.
We also have a great need for adults in our community to step up and become volunteer mentors to children in need as our organization grows. We’re establishing programs to reach out to more prospective members with the goal of matching every child on our waitlist, and every youth who comes to us in the future.
We encourage anyone who would like to become a mentor — and change a life for the better, forever — to reach out to us today. To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County and get involved as a mentor, volunteer, donor or community partner, visit BBBSBroward.org or call 954-584-9990.
Malena Mendez is president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County.