Another noble effort on the part of our still short-handed program staff resulted in 82 new matches for the month, bringing the total number of children served this year to 2,511. 62 were site-based and 20 were community-based matches. Of the total, 21 were Amachi kids. The fact that we have made the number of matches we have to date under the current economic conditions, and with 25% less volunteers coming into the agency makes this an even more remarkable month.
Thank you to those of you who are one of those 82 new volunteers… and to those who may have been responsible for inspiring a friend or colleague to get involved. Keep spreading the word to everyone in your network as personal relationships are still the most effective method of getting people to invest their time, talent and/or treasure in our mission to change the lives of children facing adversity for the better, forever.
From a revenue standpoint we brought in over $256,000 largely due to the best and most successful Breakfast event to date at which nearly 1,000 people contributed in excess of $200,000 - including a very generous $25,000 gift given by former Big Brother, board member and one of the first ever matches from the Buddies of Nashville days, Jim Hunt, who attended the breakfast with his now 50 year old “Little Brother” Bruce. Jim, who is also a member of our Resource Council, has been a long time supporter of this agency throughout its over 40 year history. Jim’s generosity inspired an anonymous donor to also invest $25,000 in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee. We certainly hope others will be moved to follow their lead.
Projected revenues for November were $402,000, so we again ended up significantly short which puts a lot of stress on the organization. Some of the shortfall is due to timing issues associated with expected investments. The loss of our federal MCP/Amachi funding also continues to be a factor. For the year, government grants are off by about $290,000 and corporate foundations by over $60,000 as compared to the same time last year.
We hope to finish with a very strong year-end push to make up some of the deficit. If you haven’t yet made an investment in 2011, there is still time to help us reach more kids. The good news is we continue to perform better than projections from an expenses standpoint. At roughly $129,000 below projections on expenses that leaves about a $200,000 gap to fill.
Stay tuned for an exciting 2012 kickoff during National Mentoring Month in January to help get off to a dynamic start in 2012. The groundbreaking marketing activities will be in coordination with our Home Office and feature the launch of Mentoring Brothers in Action, the next step in the historic partnership between Big Brothers Big Sisters, Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, and Omega Psi Phi.
Team Rio: Recruitment is in full swing for runners and walkers as well as sponsor investment opportunities right now. Call 615-522-5665 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.teamrio.org for more details. Join Jimmy Olander of country music’s Diamond Rio as we train with a purpose for the Country Music Marathon on April 28, 2012.
Bowl for Kids Sake: The committee for 2012 is forming now to help plan this year’s Bowl for Kids’ Sake season as we remember “It’s not about the bowling, It’s about the kids!” Contact Ingrid.Ransom@mentorakid.org or visit www.tnbowling.org to get your company involved as a sponsor, bowlers, or both! Board member and bowling event guru extraordinaire Cynthia Whitfield, with AllState, has agreed to be this coming season’s co-chair of the event.
OJJDP Recruitment: If you have been contemplating becoming a Big, now is the time to act! We are excited to be a recipient of a new grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to serve children in some of our underserved communities. However, to optimize the funding provided, we need to make 100 new matches during the first four months of 2012 in specific communities, including Murfreesboro, Antioch and parts of Davidson County, in the Community and Site-Based programs. We need your help… and you can make a difference by investing as little as an hour a week. If you would like more information about getting you or your company involved, contact Chris.Suitter@mentorakid.org or call (615) 329-9191 ext. 229.
2012 Calendars: A group of elementary students from our University School of Nashville High School Bigs program have created 2012 calendars that can help start your New Year off right. To order, stop by our office or visit www.bbbscalendar.kintera.org – they make terrific hostess gifts!
Sole Mio Benefit: On Wednesday, December 21, all day, grab some friends and head over to Sole Mio Italian Restaurant if you’re in Nashville. 50% of all purchases that day will be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters! The restaurant is located at 311 3rd Avenue, South and their phone number is (615) 256-4013. Check out menus, at www.solemionash.com. See you there!
Uncle Bud’s Day: Many thanks to104.5 The Zone’s 3 Hour Lunch who broadcasted live on Thursday Dec 15 to help raise money for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee. Folks including me went to the Uncle Bud’s location closest to them yesterday and dined on some of the best catfish in the area while 10% of the proceeds went to Big Brothers Big Sisters to help serve children. Both Blaine Bishop and Clay Travis with the 3 Hour Lunch are Bigs for our organization. Thank you also to Uncle Bud's and their delightful staff!
As an aside, all of these events are great ways for you to help the agency help the community by continuing to serve the kids that we have on our current roster, and providing the resources to reach more kids facing adversity. We are helping to change kids' lives for the better, forever with your support and investment of time, talent, and/or treasure.
My dad was well known for his mantra “you make a living by what you earn, but you make a life by what you give.” He was a man who was the epitome of service above self. Lowell Perry Sr. helped many people during his time on earth and he never bragged about it nor kept score with the multitude of favors he did for others. I watched in awe as he mentored not only me and my siblings, but also our friends who came from families without a strong male figure.
As the season of giving is upon us it is appropriate for us to ask ourselves whether we are just making a living or are we making a life? If you are in search of a way to better define the latter, visit www.mentorakid.org and give a youngster on our waiting list the best Christmas gift they could ever receive – a Big Brother or Big Sister.
Regardless of your individual religious beliefs, Christmas is the story of the ultimate sacrifice. The quintessential example of making a life by what you give. I wish you and your families, health, happiness, and love during this wonderful time. Count every blessing and be a blessing to others less fortunate.
Thank you for standing by us in 2011 and we look forward to a great year in 2012 with your help.