Big Brothers Big Sisters in jeopardy

Non-profit in danger of closing their Cranbrook office after 40 years in the community

  • Nov. 18, 2016 12:00 p.m.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is in danger of closing their Cranbrook office after 40 years in the community

Big Brothers Big Sisters is in danger of closing their Cranbrook office after 40 years in the community

For the Townsman

After 40 years in the community, a leading non-profit organization in Cranbrook may have to close their office doors in the new year due lack of financial resources.

As a result of the economic downturn, increased competition for charitable dollars and staff changeover Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cranbrook does not have funds available to continue operations into 2017.

A new Executive Director was hired by the BBBS board of directors this summer and is rolling up her sleeves to keep the organization afloat and to continue its work with children and youth in the community.

“We have reached out to past volunteers and supporters of our organization and are receiving tremendous support,” said new Executive Director Jordan MacDonald. “With restructuring plans in the works we just need time to implement our new plans and to secure our grants in the Spring of 2017.”

The critical problem is the need to raise $15,000 to continue operations into the new year.

The organization has put together an advisory group consisting of Past Presidents, volunteers and former staff from the organizations long history in the community. The advisory group is establishing a plan and goals to secure sustainable funding for the future and is working with the organization’s board and staff. The short-term need is to meet the organizations current financial crisis to keep the doors open until the strategic plan can be fully implemented.

“We are making a plea to the community for donations over the next few weeks and hope that we can raise enough funds to meet our short-term obligations,” said Lakisha Gjertsen, President of the BBBS board of directors.

With nearly 40 years of history in our community this organization has provided positive mentoring roles for children and youth in our community since 1977. Big Brothers Sisters of Cranbrook facilitates life-changing mentoring relationships that inspire and empower children and youth to reach their potential, both as individuals and citizens.

Statistics Canada reports that, as of 2011, 14 per cent of households in Cranbrook are single-parent families. Eighty per cent of the children in BBBS programs live in a single parent family (mother or father). Being a single parent often requires working long hours in order to earn an income equivalent to a dual-parent household. Big Brothers Big Sisters hopes to support these families by providing a positive role model who, although not a substitute for a parent, can provide companionship and guidance for children in these situations.

While single-parent households may make up a large component of the families Big Brothers Big Sisters serves, our vision is to be as inclusive as possible, so that any child who wants a mentor is able to receive a mentor.

The organization’s plans for sustainable growth focus on two main areas: an internal restructuring of our organization and our relationship with the community we serve.

“Previously in Big Brothers Big Sisters’ history, the expansion of the programs moved fairly quickly, which made the programs themselves vulnerable to staff turnover and challenges in finding sustainable funding,” Gjertson said. “Due to these shortcomings, several programs closed, and we have decided that the best course in moving forward is to focus on our core programming and grow slowly and steadily.”

The organization has been consistently cutting expenses in recent months and have repeatedly revised budgets to ensure that funds received are used at maximum efficiency.

As far as community relationships go, Jordan looks forward to settling into Cranbrook and raising the profile of the Big Brothers Sisters of Cranbrook. and will have a new location within a youth services hub of offices located at the Kootenay Child Development Centre. Jordan originates from the Elk Valley but has worked with the Big Brothers Sisters of Lethbridge for the past 3 years. Press Release

“We have some dynamic volunteers and professionals who have stepped forward who have a great length of history with our Charity and we are confident that if we can survive the short term financial crisis that we will be able to continue serving the children and youth in our community,” Macdonald said.

The organization hopes to raise $15,000 in the next few weeks to allow time to implement their strategy plan. If you would like to donate or assist by volunteering for a fundraiser for this organization you can contact Jason Wheeldon Advisory Liason at 250 426 9482 or jkwheeldon@shaw.ca Jordan MacDonald at 250 489 3111 or email jordan.macdonald@bigbrothersbigsisters.ca

Just Posted

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Secondary School in Creston

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for Prince Charles Secondary School

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
MP Morrison appointed to parliamentary national security committee

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian one of five candidates appointed to national security committee

Repaving of Victoria Ave (3rd St. S. to 11th St. S.) began on Monday, June 12. Drivers are asked to please avoid the area for the remainder of the day, if possible. Please watch for and obey directions from flaggers and signage, as the detours will be moving regularly. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.
Road construction, repaving programs well underway

Local road construction and repaving work continue apace, as summer programs get… Continue reading

Vendors and customers at one of the Cranbrook markets in 2020. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)
Cranbrook Farmers Market updates operating hours for the summer

Markets will continue to run from 10a.m. to 1p.m. until October 30th

City council passed first reading of a text amendment to a downtown zoning bylaw that would permit the land use for a craft brewery. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.
Downtown zoning amendment allowing craft brewery passes first reading

An application is moving forward that will tweak a downtown zoning bylaw… Continue reading

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Most Read