January is National Mentoring Month! I remember back to when I had my first job interview with Big Brothers Big Sisters, then known as Valley Big Brothers Big Sisters, in March of 1998. I wasn’t sure at the time if I wanted to work in non-profits, but I was excited for the opportunity to see how I could make a difference as their new public relations manager. As I learned more about the mission and vision of the agency, I realized this job was the perfect fit for me. I don’t know what made me come to that conclusion at the time, but I felt it in my gut. So later that month, with great anticipation, I began my journey. Over the next six years, I absorbed everything and learned quickly. I loved the job, the people and the clients we served. I saw firsthand the difference mentoring had on a child’s life and I knew I would be forever connected to the agency. During the next couple of years, I moved up in the organization from Public Relations Manager, to Community Relations Director and then eventually Vice President of Marketing. In that time, I was lucky to have the mentorship and guidance of their longtime CEO, Linda Searfoss and their COO Madeleine Stilwell, who lit a fire in me for the nonprofit sector. Although I did spend a few years away from BBBSAZ, the mission always stayed very close to my heart and when I was given the opportunity to return to the agency in May of 2011, I jumped at the offer. I knew the additional experience I gained by becoming more involved in the community and educating myself on the important issues in our state, would help me to become that much better of a leader for the organization. And most importantly, I wanted the opportunity to give every child who wanted a mentor the chance to have one, as I had. I am now humbled and honored beyond measure that I have been chosen to lead this amazing agency that I came to love more than 15 years ago. And the timing of my new position could not have come during a more appropriate month as January is National Mentoring Month. I will continue to work tirelessly with our incredible staff to match as many children as we can with responsible, caring adults, who will help them succeed in life. I also look forward to working with other community leaders so that Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona can be a part of the bigger discussion when it comes to looking at and solving important issues concerning our valley’s youth. Thank you to all of you who have been a part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters family by volunteering your time, talents and resources. We absolutely could not do what we do without your support and I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can in the future. Sincerely, Laura Capello President and CEO
Stuff-a-bus toy drive For four consecutive Fridays, Subway and Veolia Transportation teamed up to collect toys and money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona! Four Subway locations across the valley were selected to host a toy drive, which brought in several large bins full of toys. We thank those who generously donated toys and money to make Christmas a little brigther for children in the valley! Toys were distributed to Littles at our Fort McDowell site-based program in Fountain Hills! Thank you, Subway and Veolia Transportation!
Thank you, larry
50 matches attend holiday dinner with Arizona Cardinal Larry Fitzgerald It was a night to remember at Eddieâ€™s House restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale. Fifty lucky matches were invited to an exclusive holiday dinner with Arizona Cardinals Wide Receiver Larry Fitzgerald. All Littles received a Nike bag full of goodies and some one-on-one time with Larry in addition to dinner prepared by Chef Eddie Matney. We thank Larry for being so giving of his time and supporting our agency and thank Chef Eddie for donating his restaurant and staff for the wonderful event.
SAVE THE DATE: THE BIG BREAKFAST 2013
LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS CHANGES LIVES You’re invited to the Arizona Biltmore for an inspirational morning of good food and fun. The first annual Big Breakfast is scheduled for Thursday, April 18th so mark your calendars! This event will feature a variety of guest speakers sharing how Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona continues to make a positive impact on the Greater Phoenix community. Please come out and learn more about our growing Community-based and Site-based programs as well as meet some of our amazing volunteers, staff and board members who make our organization so great! Please join us!
The First Annual
When: Thursday, April 18, 2013 Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Program begins promptly at 8 am. Where: The Arizona Biltmore Grand ballroom More information to come!
We are currently looking for Table Captains for this event. If you are interested in learning more about the event and the role of a Table Captain please contact Jessica Whitney, Events Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you, Kendra Scott! BBBSAZ benefits from first Kendra Gives Back party in Arizona! Board members, staff and Bigs were invited to the first ‘Kendra Gives Back’ party in Arizona to celebrate the new Kendra Scott store in Scottsdale Quarter. Twenty percent of proceeds from the evening benefitted BBBSAZ! Thank you, Kendra Scott and staff! The Hispanic Board of Realtors also presented our agency with a check at the event and we thank them for their generous donation. Cheers to 2013! BBBSAZ board members and staff pose with Kendra Scott store manager, Deb Tretheway (front), at the December “Kendra Gives Back” party at Scottsdale Quarter.
Big Tip of the month: January
With the start of the new year I would like to make a renewed commitment to my Little. Is there a limit to the amount of time that I can spend with my little? It is great to hear that you are interested in spending more time with your little! But, to answer your question, yes, there is a limit to the amount of time you can spend with your little. Our ground rules state that ‘meetings with your little should occur 2 to 4 times a month and contact over that amount of time is discouraged.’ Please be aware of this as you are scheduling in additional meetings with your little. It is also important to discuss the increased outings with your little’s parent or guardian and your BBBS Program Specialist.
Quicken Loans donates $25,250! BIG THANKS to Quicken Loans for their generous $25,250 donation to BBBSAZ. Quicken Loans selected BBBSAZ as one of their “Charities of Choice” for 2012! BBBSAZ was selected as a top four finalist by Quicken Loans employees and sales teams worked to reach a regional goal that would benefit all four organizations. Thanks Quicken Loans! Page 5
Match Moment: Larry and Garrett 1.) What is your Little Brother’s name and how long have you been matched? Garrett and I have been matched for eight years. 2.) Why did you want to become a Big? I have been very blessed with a beautiful family and great professional life. So about 13 years ago I decided it was time to start giving back to my community. My wife and I have been giving money to charities for some time, but I wanted to give my time as well. I heard about BBBSAZ through a friend and decided to give it a try. 3.) What was your first outing with your Little? We went bowling, which was a first for Garrett. Over the years we have continued to enjoy bowling and Garrett keeps getting better. 4.) Talk about your favorite moment as a Big. Garrett was meeting my wife (Lee) for the first time. We were eating lunch and Garrett said: “I have a great idea on how we could spend more time with one another.” When I asked him to explain, he said I could marry his mom that way he and I could be together all of the time. When my wife explained that she was married to me, Garrett replied, “So, just get a divorce.” 5.) How has your Little changed since you first met? Garrett and I were matched when he was seven and now he just turned sixteen. I have watched him grow into a terrific young man. He is smart, polite, respectful and treats his mother very well. All of the credit goes to his mother for doing an amazing job raising him on her own. 6.) What advice would you share with other Bigs? First, develop a good relationship with the parent of the little. The better the relationship, the better the match. Second, don’t go into the match with any specific expectations, as you can be sure all the Little cares about is that you are giving him or her your attention. Third, keep in mind that how well your match goes is in large part based on the effort you are willing to put into it. Finally, the program specialists are there to assist in any way they can. Be sure to go to them with any concerns you may have.