Two Big Brothers Big Sisters Agencies
Kick-off January National Mentoring Month by
Bridging the Bay and Beyond to Help Children in Need
Tampa/St. Petersburg (January 1, 2015) - Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay is kicking off National Mentoring Month by celebrating the official consolidation of two local Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies effective January 1: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pinellas County and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay. The goal of the merger will help ‘Bridge the Bay’ to help more children who need caring adult mentors in their lives. The newly merged agency has more than 1,000 children on its waiting list for a Big Brother or Big Sister.
Over the last several months, staff and board members from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pinellas County have been working together to merge the best practices of both agencies. In 2014, more than 3,100 children were paired with a volunteer mentor (called ‘Bigs’) throughout the two agency’s seven-county service area: Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Pasco, Citrus, Hernando and Sumter counties. As the two agencies officially come together on January 1, it is the perfect time to focus on and thank those Bigs who make a difference in the lives of children every day. Now, with their combined resources, the consolidated BBBS Tampa Bay Agency will be able to work more efficiently to recruit volunteers, plus raise awareness and the funds needed to match and monitor the relationships between each Big and ‘Little’.
David Fox, Senior Vice-President for Valpak in St. Petersburg is the agency’s new board chair. Stephen Koch, who’s been involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters for 20 years, is the CEO and President of the newly combined agency. “We’re so proud of our volunteers, whose passion and commitment for our mentoring services to children makes what we do possible. I am truly humbled by their service and dedication,” said Koch. The agency is positioned to reach approximately 3,500 children in 2015.
The ‘Bridge the Bay’ celebration will continue throughout National Mentoring Month in January, with a variety of community events. Check back often for updates.