Big Brothers Big Sisters suspends volunteer applications, blames economy
'It saddens us that we have to turn away volunteers,' says BBBS president
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary is no longer taking applications for new volunteers, saying they don't have enough money to run additional programs where volunteers are needed.
BBBS said in a press release many of its Calgary-based programs are at capacity and hundreds of children are on a wait list.
"It's awful to have to turn children away, who desperately need those positive relationships. So the more support we get from the community the more children and volunteers we'll be able to serve," said BBBS president and CEO Karen Orser.
"It saddens us that we have to turn away volunteers at a time when the demand for mentors is larger than ever," she said.
"With most of our programs already at full capacity, it would not be fair for us to keep children and volunteers waiting indefinitely when we know we don't have the resources to support them."
The organization has provided mentoring services for children and young people in Calgary and surrounding areas for four decades.
$100,000 fundraising campaign
"Since the onset of the economic downturn, BBBS has experienced an increase in the number of parents and families reaching out for support."
The organization has started a fundraising campaign with a goal of $100,000.
"When the economy forced us to cancel our largest annual fundraiser this past spring, we were very concerned about how we were going to continue supporting the children in our programs," said Orser.
"We knew we had to find new ways to raise awareness and essential resources and we decided to reach out and connect directly with our friends and neighbours and ask for their support."
BBBS said it will still accept volunteers for all programs in Airdrie, Cochrane, High River and Okotoks and for its mPower, Youth-in-Care and Youth Engaging Supports programs in Calgary.
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