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A Message From Our President & CEO, Jeannine Gant

This past year proved to be challenging for all of us, but at Big Brothers Big Sisters we think about the impact on our youth. Throughout the pandemic we have continued to find ways to ensure our Littles feel a sense of safety and belonging by supporting them and reminding them that they are not alone. Not only did we call our youth and families every month to check on their needs, we also developed a virtual playbook to share with mentors containing loads of interactive virtual ideas to support things like leadership development, healthy living, planning for the future, life skills and so much more. We saw an increase in the number of youth reporting they have a caring adult in their life. We also had to get creative with fundraising, as our traditional in person Bowl for Kids Sake fundraiser was cancelled due to the pandemic. 2021 marks the first year of our MOVE for Kid’s Sake event. This event was made in response to Covid-19 as a way to get active while simultaneously supporting our youth.

We also focused on creating fun events and workshops for our youth and mentors to include a STEM celebration, mental health and self-esteem workshops, Women’s History Month chat with Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Chief Medical Executive for the state of Michigan, and so many more. We also leaned, with great passion, into reframing our work with a lens of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. We reaffirmed that every person has the opportunity to reach their full potential. And we're committed to creating and cultivating a safe environment where all individuals feel respected and valued equally. That commitment includes a nondiscriminatory and anti-racist approach and a commitment to dismantling any inequities within our policies, systems, programs and services.

In August, we will Step Up BIG Detroit!, an opportunity for the community to make a commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion [JEDI] in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Whether you’re an individual, corporation, foundation or group, we know you believe that every child should be provided with what they need to achieve their full potential. Through Step Up Big Detroit!, you can help expand the reach of Big Brothers Big Sisters throughout metro Detroit and connect more youth to a trained mentor who will provide friendship, opportunities, information, and resources to broaden their horizons about what is possible in life. Supporters of this campaign will become a part of an informed allyship, pulling together and affirming that every youth be given an equitable opportunity to achieve success. We look forward to inviting you to join us.

Thank you for your consideration and your continued support, and please, take precautions to keep yourselves and your families safe and healthy.

- Jeannine

Mario & Aaron
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