With the promise of financial help from the Jaycees and a local business establishment, the organization was incorporated and a board of directors elected in January 1971. Much of the first year was spent in organizing for action -- securing office space, hiring part-time staff members and procuring additional funding. Initial board meetings were held in various locations, including the Chamber of Commerce, Howard Johnson's, Ball State University and the Indiana Employment Office. The first "permanent" office of the agency was established in the Wysor Building in downtown Muncie. Income during 1971 was approximately $1,500.
The next couple of years brought greater community awareness of the goals of the program and increased levels of financial support.
In 1974 the agency was accepted as a United Way agency, which had the effect of stabilizing its financial condition. Also in 1974, a Big Sisters interest group was formed and later was added as a formal part of the program. The first Big Sister-Little Sister match was completed in February of that year.
The agency qualified in 1977 for participation in Title XX match funding through the Indiana Office of Social Services. This, coupled with funds from the Criminal Justice grant program, enabled the agency to expand service to Blackford County and Jay County.
In 1978 the agency moved to 208 East Main Street and changed its name to Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Indiana, Inc. to reflect its broader geographic scope.
In 1979 the agency was admitted as a full affiliated member of the national organization and in 1989 relocated to the Rose Court Building in downtown Muncie.
As of 1992 the agency changed its name to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware County, Inc., as outreach offices in Jay County and Blackford County were closed until a more stable source of funding could be secured for actual satellite offices.
These outreach counties, as well as Randolph County, are in the agency's service area as defined by the national organization, but service to the outreach counties at this time is limited due to funding and current agency capacities.
After a thorough strategic planning process the agency moved in January 2002 to a larger facility at 220 N. Walnut St. with the vision of this being a future permanent home for the agency.
Big Brothers Big Sisters no longer receives Title XX funding and receives no federal, state, or local tax dollars. Financial support comes from United Way, fund-raising efforts, community and individual donations and grants.
For more detailed information about the history of the national organization follow the link: