BBBS Celebrates National Mentoring Month with The Art of Friendship

By Kerry Alsheimer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County (BBBSEC)

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A BIG welcome to 2015! New Years Day is always exciting BBBSEC, along with many other organizations, as January is National Mentoring Month (NMM)!

“Created in 2002 by the Harvard School of Public Health and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, NMM focuses national attention on the need for mentors, as well as how each of us—individuals, businesses, government agencies, schools, faith communities and nonprofits—can work together to increase the number of mentors to assure positive outcomes for our young people.”

BBBSEC is joining the celebration of NMM in several ways, and you can, too!

On Saturday, January 10th, Starlight Studio will be hosting BBBSEC for The 2015 Art of Friendship opening reception, to kick off our annual traveling art show! The Art of Friendship utilizes art as a way to express the friendships and connections made between a Big Brother or Big Sister mentor and their Little Brother or Little Sister. Bigs & Littles involved in our Community and Site-Based Mentoring programs created melted crayon art on canvas. The subject of each piece reflects something personal about each mentoring relationship.

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Big Brother Andy & Little Brother Daryl (left), and Big Sister Tracey & Little Sister Alexis (right)

The opening reception will take place from 11am-1pm on the 10th. After this event, the 25-piece collection will travel to coffee shops, businesses and other public venues for several months. If your venue or business would be interested in displaying some of our matches’ artwork, please e-mail Kerry at kalsheimer@beafriend.org. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter for updates on where the show will be next! You can also check out the Art of Friendship Page on our website, where we will feature one piece every month.

Additionally, BBBSEC will be concluding National Mentoring Month with The Big Mixer Info and Networking Event on Thursday, January 29th from 5:30-7:30pm at Providence Social. This is a great opportunity to network with like-minded individuals, learn more about what BBBSEC does for the community and the different ways you can become involved. If you are interested in attending, RSVP to bigs@beafriend.org. All are welcome and encouraged to bring friends!

We are also happy to come to your place of business, school, club or organization any time of the year to speak about BBBSEC’s volunteer programs. We can tailor our presentation to fit any morning meeting, special event, Lunch n’ Learn…there are many possibilities and we are open to hearing your ideas! Schedule with us today by e-mailing bigs@beafriend.org.

If you have been a Big, Little, Staff or Board Member in the past, check out our Alumni Page and register to keep up to date on upcoming events and reconnect!

We are grateful to accept your financial support any time of the year. A donation in any amount will help a child in need find a carefully-screened mentor to help them achieve success.

And last, but certainly not least, a great way to celebrate National Mentoring Month is to become a mentor! For just a few hours each month, you can make a difference in the life of a child facing adversity in the Buffalo area. Through our flexible Community-Based Mentoring or more structured Site-Based Mentoring programs, we will find a way to work with your schedule. Call 873-5833 ext. 240 to chat about starting something BIG today!

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