About Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore
On a national level, Big Brothers Big Sisters was founded in 1904 and now serves over 250,000 children annually. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore was established in 1969 and serves 200 children annually across Ottawa, Muskegon, Lake, Oceana and Mason counties.
Kids need adult support in their lives at critical times - when the smallest behavioral changes or poor decisions can forever affect their lives. Big Brothers Big Sisters believes in supplying the support necessary for every child in need.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore relies on a staff of professionals and volunteers to successfully deliver services to the community.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore utilizes collaboration with individuals & community organizations to fulfill our mission. We are proud to work with area schools, health and human service agences, corporate partners and the Ottawa County and Muskegon County Mentoring Collaboratives as well as the Greater Ottawa County United Way and United Way of the Lakeshore agencies.
Being matched with a Big allows a Little to explore new interests and learn new things to help them grow into a healthy adult.
An independent national study of Big Brothers Big Sisters found that Littles show improvement in several areas.
Outcomes we see include but are not limited to the following:
Increased self-confidence, skills in decision making, improved classroom behavior, showing trust towards others, better relationships with friends and family, having a sense of future, improved hygiene, and ability to avoid substance abuse and early parenting.
In 2009, Harris Interactive conducted a national study of former Littles. This study found that:
52% agree their Bigs kept them from dropping out of school
77% set higher goals because of their Bigs
75% were more likely to earn a 4-year college degree
55% were more liley to hold leadership positions
67% were more likely to volunteer in the community
90% agree their Bigs made them feel better about themselves
Cost of a Match
*There is no cost to enroll a child in the program*
Our organization would not exist without Bigs and Littles, which is why we put so much time and effort into making each match successful. The average cost of match is $1,000 per year. Most of this cost comes from the time it takes qualified staff members to process and track the match, but it can also include:
- Processing applications for Bigs and Littles
- Interviewing children, parents and prospective Bigs
- Completing background checks
- Creating profiles used for matching Bigs with Littles
- Initiating the first contact between Bigs, Littles and their parents
- Making monthly contact between BBBS and the Big, Little, and Little’s parent/guardian for the first year of a match
- Following up on a regular basis to assist in any way possible to ensure the match is a success