Big Brothers Big Sisters – Everyone Needs a Mentor

This week’s Cause of the Week, comes to us from the big apple. The Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City has been steering kids in the right direction since 1904!

We, here at Socialize Your Cause, believe that everyone should have a role model and a mentor to look up to. Getting advice from people who have been there and done that is extremely helpful and a must with most things in life!

The Big Brother Big Sister Program does an amazing job with their Young Mentoring programs they have been able to make some truly extraordinary matches between mentors and the kids.

Look out for their tweets from our Twitter accounts this week and make sure to follow them @bbbsNYC.

How did the whole idea come about?

A Brief history:

Big Brothers Big Sisters It was more than century ago, on December 3, 1904, in Lower Manhattan. A boy’s life hung in the balance, the weight of an 18-month reformatory sentence about to crush his future. Then Ernest Coulter, Clerk of the Court of Special Sessions of the City of New York, made his famous plea:

“There is only one possible way to save that youngster, and that is to have some earnest, true man volunteer to be his big brother. To look after him, to help him do right, to make the little chap feel that there is at least one human being in this great city who takes a personal interest in him, who cares whether he lives or dies. I call for a volunteer.”

When the first gentleman stood to volunteer, Big Brothers of New York City (the founding chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America) began. Coulter’s audience, a New York City men’s club of business and community leaders, immediately saw the strength of this brave new idea. By the end of the day, 39 men had volunteered, and thus 39 futures were salvaged.

Eight years later, in June of 1912, Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt helped to form the Big Sisters organization. In 1921, the Big Brother and Big Sister Federation incorporated in New York State. Today, Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City reaches over 3,000 young people every year with many different mentoring programs designed to meet the unique and changing needs of the children, families and volunteers in our City.

Why is this cause close to your heart? Why should other support it?

Mentoring is a cause that everyone can relate to, because everyone at some point in their lives has benefited from the positive influence of a mentor…a friend, a teacher, a guide, a listener, a supporter and a confidante. Personally, growing up without a father in my life, I know the importance of having someone step up to help fill that gap, someone who cares, encourages and truly believes in you so you can thrive and succeed. And, looking back I see the different path my life could have taken had I not had a role model to help me make the right decisions. People should support mentoring because it works. Mentoring has the Power to Change Lives.

How do you become a Big Brother or Big Sister?

First, Apply.
Click here to fill out an easy online application!
Your application will be reviewed by a member of our staff, and if it matches the needs of one of the children currently awaiting a Big Brother or Big Sister, you will be contacted with an invitation to attend a volunteer orientation.

Second, Become informed.
At the volunteer orientation, you will learn about our organization, and be able to ask questions and decide whether mentoring with Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYCis a good fit for you.

Do you have any other events or fundraisers that you would like others to know about?

BBBS of NYC has several upcoming annual events:

6th Annual BBBS of NYC RBC Race for the Kids-
Part of Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play

Saturday, September 25, 2010
10:00 am
Riverside Park at 72nd Street

The 6th Annual Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC RBC Race for the Kids-part of Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play celebrates the POWER OF MENTORING while promoting the importance of health and exercise. As the NYC headquarters of Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play alongside the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Race for the Kids is proud to share in the goal of promoting active lifestyles to today’s youth.
Participants can run or power walk the 4k course. Following the race, all are invited to a picnic featuring Nickelodeon characters Sponge Bob & Dora, as well as Nickelodeon-sponsored games and entertainment. Join us! Register or learn more at
Sponsorship opportunities are available! For information regarding our attractive event sponsorship levels and benefits, please contact Lisha McCormick at 212-686-2042.

Gridiron Games
Saturday, November 6, 2010
1 – 4:30pm
The New Meadowlands Stadium

Held at The New Meadowlands Stadium, this exciting day has two parts. In the morning, children in our programs and their mentors experience the coveted opportunity to play football on the stadium field, meet NFL players, tour the locker rooms, and enjoy a catered lunch in the stadium press box. In the afternoon, teams of top NYC law firms compete for a trophy in a friendly touch football tournament. Sponsorship opportunities with attractive benefits are available for both the morning and afternoon sessions.
Space is limited. Sign up now! To register your firm’s team or for more information regarding sponsorship or the event, please contact Roxanne Scher at 212-994-7701

What advice would you give to others that might like to take on such an amazing endeavor?

People who want to give back by becoming a volunteer mentor will see their direct, amazing impact on a child in need. Our measurable outcomes, such as significant increases in self-confidence, school attendance and performance, demonstrate the remarkable improvements and transformations in the youth we serve. And, as a BBBS of NYC volunteer mentor, you will change not only a child’s life but your own. Being a Big Brother or Big Sister is a one-year commitment, but the rewards last a lifetime.

You never go it alone. Each Big/Little match is supervised by a professionally-trained social worker who is always there to help you with support and suggestions.  And, we have many volunteer groups for peer support, advice, encouragement and networking.

It’s a fun, rewarding experience and there are as many reasons to be a mentor as there are mentors. Learn more and find your reason. We have hundreds of children, mostly boys, who are just waiting for you.

We are a donor-supported volunteer organization, so you can also take on the cause of mentoring by making a financial contribution. As a donor, you will see the tremendous value of your contributions, and will learn that the power of your dollar is exponential. Not only will you change a disadvantaged child’s life, you’ll have a lasting impact on every life that child touches now and in the future. When you donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, that’s your legacy.

How has social media helped your organization?

Through social media, we have been able to reach out to a more individuals than we ever dreamed possible.  We are able to raise awareness, visibility and support for our cause, post content to share the compelling stories of our Big/Little matches and spread the word about our events, partnerships, accomplishments and great match activities instantly.  Also, it has helped create an online bridge between us and the other BBBS chapters around the world. We share information and best practices, support each other’s efforts and have been able to try new things, learn and grow.  We have networked and connected on a new level with our individual and corporate supporters as well as businesses and other nonprofit organizations in our community and beyond. Social media is the future, not only of the world but of the nonprofit sector, and we are happy to be a part of it.

What do you have planned for the future of Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC?

Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City serves about 3,000 of the more than 428,500 children currently living below the poverty line in our community, which includes 149,000 single-parent families. These underprivileged youth live in the roughest neighborhoods and are confronted with negative influences like school violence, crime, drugs and gangs every day.

Our vision is to ensure that every New York City youth who needs and wants the positive influence of a Big Brother or Big Sister will have one. Generous donations of time and/or money can help make our vision a reality.

Important Links to note:


Match stories:

Online Donations:

Annual Report:

Events Calendar:

Race for the Kids Website:

“Becoming a Big” and other volunteer opportunities:




Volunteer Group Social media:

Latino Bigs FB:

Bigs United FB:

Asian Mentoring Committee FB:

Young Professionals Committee (YPC) Facebook:

YPC Twitter:

Who is your Mentor?