Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Black Hills (BBBSBH) is a United Way Black Hills (UWBH) funded nonprofit organization that provides one-to-one mentoring relationships with children facing adversity to change their lives for the better. From outdoor activities such as fishing, going to the park or hunting, these are engaging moments that create lasting memories for the little.
Due to COVID-19, BBBSBH activities did a complete 180 overnight. Because of CDC Guidelines, their matches could no longer meet in person, they had to go virtual. Matches used to go out to eat, go to movies etc., then schools were closed - parents had to figure out how to work full-time and home school their children; and most of those parents were single parents of several children.
BBBSBH received a UNITED We Stand COVID-19 Relief Fund grant in the amount of $6,000 to purchase new laptops and Zoom memberships to provide their services and engage with littles virtually.
The Bigs stepped up and started to meet with their Littles virtually 3-4 times a week so they could help the parents home school their children, they helped take the burden off the parents and gave their Little something and someone to look forward to when there was nothing else available.
”BBBSBH has a program called Campus Kids for our Ready-to-be-Matched kids waiting for Bigs. This program usually occurs at the SDSM&T, in-person, face-to-face. BBBSBH and Campus Kids student org. officers were scared this program would have to be canceled this year due to the campus' policy on not allowing visitors on campus and limited usage due to COVID. Because of the technology we were able to purchase from this grant, the Campus Kids program has gone virtual for 2020-2021! We now have the ability to begin the CK sessions meeting as a big group, then breaking off into smaller groups to work on fun activities, then ending with individual tutoring sessions between the SDSM&T student volunteers and our Littles. All of this can be done safely because of the ability the software gives the BBBSBH staff to pop in and out of meeting rooms and individual sessions. Thank you!!! The Littles and their families are so grateful this program was not cancelled for 2020-2021.” - BBBSH
Thanks to the support of our donors, we are able to provide these resources so the BBBSBH can continue their great work. When you make a donation to UWBH, you are investing in these mentorship opportunities and lasting memories.
To learn more about United Way of the Black Hills, or to donate, please visit: www.unitedwayblackhills.org