Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley (BBBSL) will be raising the flag of awareness on Wednesday.
The local organization will be celebrating Big Brothers Big Sisters Month throughout September and promoting the charity’s #ImagineBBBS campaign, which highlights the impact mentoring has on a young person’s life and calls for volunteers and donations from the community.
At 10 a.m. on Sept. 13, Mayor Ted Schaffer and Langley City council members will join Big Brothers Big Sisters staff and volunteers in a flag raising ceremony at City Hall to mark the occasion.
A cake cutting ceremony will follow the flag-raising.
“The City of Langley is delighted to host this flag raising ceremony to help raise awareness of Big Brothers Big Sisters in our community,” Schaffer said. “Their message is a powerful one — a commitment of only a few hours a week can significantly shape the lives of our young people.”
A total of 125 youth are currently waiting to be matched with adults in Big Brothers Big Sisters programs in Langley, and across the country more than 4,000 young Canadians need a mentor.
While mentors from all regions and cultural backgrounds across the gender spectrum are needed, the demand for male volunteers is especially high.
“These children are in their formative years, and could really benefit from a mentor as they go through adolescence,” BBBSL executive director Roslyn Henderson said. “The goal of the #ImagineBBBS campaign is to show that the role of a Big Brother or Big Sister isn’t daunting — doing simple activities together is all it takes. But these simple activities help build connections that can have a life-changing impact on both Big and Littles alike.”
Youth who have been mentored through Big Brothers Big Sisters programming are 17 per cent more likely to be gainfully employed as adults and they earn 13 per cent more on average in those jobs, resulting in $315,000 of increased earnings over their career.
Mayor Schaffer and key representatives from BBBS will raise a Big Brothers Big Sisters flag outside city hall at 10am on September 13. They will be accompanied by several
Scheduled guests at the flag raising include MP John Aldag, RCMP Sgt. Wayne Baier and Cpl. Craig Vanherk, and longtime Big Brother, Rob Ross.
For more than 40 years, BBBSL has been changing the lives of our community’s youth by developing and implementing a wide range of group, in-school and one-on-one mentoring programs.
BBBSL provided quality mentoring services for 420 youth, engaging over 120 mentors in 2016.
Research demonstrates that Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programs yield positive results in mental health, employment and civic engagement, with every dollar of investment in BBBS programming returning between $18 and $23 to society through higher taxes, increased spending from higher incomes, volunteerism,