Reflections from our ED:

Welcome 2018!

I am not sure I've ever anticipated a new year more! The plans for 2018 are so exciting!

By 2019, our agency plans to double our mentor matches. Double! This means in 2018 we will say to hello to an even larger number of Littles and Bigs! And staff! It also means we added new funders who see the vision and passion we have to serve more kids, to create twice as many life-changing friendships.

To double our matches, our team will grow! A full time Match Support Specialist will join the team to support our mentor matches. A new Office Manager will also be added to say hello to visitors, to handle our front-end day-to-day work, and keep the team organized. If you're interested in joining our team, please learn more about our openings by clicking on this link.

With our hellos, there are also goodbyes.

As 2017 comes to a close, we said goodbye to Mentoring Coordinator Stephanie Wallace. Though new to the team, Stephanie had dove in quickly connecting with our Bigs, Littles and their families. Unfortunately, health issues prevented her from continuing to work for BBBS. We will miss Stephanie's discernment, attention to detail and helping spirit. Best wishes to you, Stephanie!

This opened the door to say hello to Jolene Felix, interim Match Support Coordinator. Jolene comes from the recommendation of the Chief Affiliate Officer at Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. I am thrilled Jolene is able to fill in the gap to continue our support of mentor matches and maintain the rigorous child safety standards. Jolene will serve our matches and manage our large waitlist of new Bigs and Littles. We are thankful to say hello to Jolene! Welcome aboard! 

As I reflect on 2017, I am amazed at the hard work, determination and spirit of people in our community. This week, the United Way of Delaware County said Hello to a successful 2018 campaign, raising more than $1.4M to end poverty in our community! Wow!  We are thankful for UWDC's ongoing support of our work. This team included our board member Wynde Ashman whose tireless work in our community has incredible impact. Bravo and thank you!

We also said hello to support from the Ball Brothers Foundation to undergird our infrastructure as we grow. We are thrilled to receive the Indiana Youth Institute's Organizational Effectiveness Grant to provide professional development which will develop skills to sustain our growth. The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County has supported our core work for many years, and we are endlessly grateful for your partnership. A generous grant from the George and Frances Ball Foundation supports our core program work, a gift of great impact! A new partnership with Commonway Church adds ready-made mentor matches and provides a connection that can benefit both our agency and the church! These foundations along with our generous Phi Sigma Epsilon partnership, individual and business supporters make our work and our growth possible.

The turning of the page on a calendar provides a welcome opportunity to take notice of the many hellos and goodbye the year has provided. We look to many successes within our agency and community as we begin 2018. We are thankful to celebrate the Hellos as well as the work, spirit and impact of those to whom we must say Goodbye.

Here's to an amazing 2018 full of many Hellos!