Imagine the possibilities

“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.”- Mahatma Gandhi

Solving the World’s most pressing social issues is a tall task and standing alone we are tiny up against the massive scale of the problems faced by children in today’s society. At U.P. Kids’ Big Brothers Big Sisters, we have a dream. And, the scale of our dream is massive. Our vision is that all children thrive and achieve success in life.

We want to send every child down a healthy path in life. We strive to help children become more confident, competent and caring individuals. We hope to encourage and empower children to reach their full potential and to become productive, contributing members of our communities. We want to change how children grow up in America. Our Mission is to provide children with strong and enduring, professionally supported, one?to?one mentoring relationships that broadens their perspectives and changes their lives for the better, forever. We believe that investing in young people is one of the wisest investments one can make which offers immeasurable possibilities.

This sounds like a really tall order. Is it too altruistic? We think that it is too big of a deal to risk that kind of thinking. We are committed to our vision. But, is our dream truly attainable? Well, not without your support. When we stand alone, we are tiny. Together, impossible is nothing.

We depend on volunteers who are at the heart of our programs. Our mission is carried out by our dedicated and caring “Bigs”. Their gift of time and attention is essential to the work we do. We also need the support of donors to help to provide the resources to make this happen. A volunteer’s time is a free gift however the effort that goes into intentionally providing and supporting these healthy, positive mentoring relationships requires resources. A great deal of time and care goes into the development of outcome?based goals for each child we work with and in making “matches” and supporting these mentoring relationships toward these goals.

We help children to realize their potential and build their futures and in turn we strengthen communities. We couldn’t do any of it without you! In particular, we depend on support from the community through our signature fundraising event, Bowl for Kids, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 21st in Houghton. Bowl for Kids is definitely not about the bowling. It’s about having fun for a good cause. The purpose of the event is to invite the community to be a part of our mission and to help us to achieve the scale we need in realizing our vision. It is an easy and fun way for people to support children in our local communities and make a big difference. Anyone can get involved as a bowler, a team captain, a sponsor or all three. Partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters through Bowl for Kids has a positive, long?lasting impact in our community.

It begins within your own world, with your own belief system and what you feel might be a wise and valuable investment. I believe that Big Brothers Big Sisters is a piece of the puzzle in tackling large scale social issues. That is where I invest my heart and soul. I hope that you might give a piece of yourself to support my chosen cause. Honestly though, there are so many other pieces that you can support too. Look around you, many programs and organizations exist to tackle our communities’ and the World’s most pressing issues. Whatever philanthropy you choose, wherever your heart lies… Do something within your power to support and help that cause.

It doesn’t matter how much you give or what you give … only that you give. I challenge each of you to give swomething back today. Imagine the possibilities.

For more information about making a difference visit www.upkids.com

Maggie M. Munch, MPA is program director of U.P. Kids Big Brothers Big Sisters