Monday, November 26, 2012

You, Social Media, and your Little

Hey Bigs! Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving break. This week we wanted to do a little post to talk about Social Media, and how your adventures with your Little fit into that.

We are so thankful when you guys mention BBBS in social media, it helps spread the word about our organization and gains more followers and volunteers for us. We can never have enough Bigs! But it's important to make sure you keep your Little anonymous when you post. To do this, just dont post any names or pictures. We want to make sure we keep that part of the program off of the internet. Its up to your Little to decide if he/she wants to tell people they are in the program, and to protect their decision please avoid mentioning names.

Other ways to refer to your Little:
Little Brother/ Little Sister
My Match
First letter of his or her name (i.e. Me and S went to the movies today)

Thank you for being understanding of this, and if you have any questions regarding social media and your Little please dont hesitate to email or call us! Here is a list of our staff, and their contact information:


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Another year, another successful auction and gala!

Everyone at Big Brothers Big Sisters of NW Washington would like to say thank you to all of our amazing sponsors, volunteers, staff members, board members, and guests at our 2012 BIG Sock Hop  Auction and Gala!!! It was an amazing time, and we raised so much money that will go to supporting mentoring in our community.

All the money donated at the auction will go towards supporting our programs, and will allow us to continue changing the lives of our Bigs and Littles.

For those of you who weren't able to make it this year, here are some of the highlights:

We had a photo-booth-- complete with props! 

Check out these rockin' costumes! 

Fabulous desserts donated for the dessert dash, as per usual! 

Thank you to our event planner Lori and our auction co-chairs Whitney and Susie for everything! 

We even had a Doo-wop group preform! 

We had some fabulous things to auction off, its hard to contain your excitement when you win! 

Our Executive Director, Colleen Hagerty 

One of our current Big Sisters sharing her story about why she loves being a Big

As you can see it was a ton of fun, and even though it was a lot of work we cant wait for next year! Thanks again to everyone who came out to help and support us. We will be able to help more kids than ever this upcoming year, providing mentors for any and all kids in need.  

"We changed a life in a very big way, and none of that would  have been possible without Big Brothers Big Sisters. None of that would have been possible without you." 

Monday, October 29, 2012

The BIG Sock Hop!

Can you believe the auction is only a week away?! We have been working like crazy to get everything ready, but its all been worth it! Just last week we finalized the auction items list. It’s always heartwarming to see just how much support we have from our community, so many item donors and fabulous volunteers have stepped up to help this auction be the best that it can be.

Some of our items include exciting getaways, game day tickets, thrilling adventures and so much more!

A big thank you to our auction sponsors this year- BP Cherry point, Barleans Organic Oils, Les Schwab, Phillips 66, Silver Reef Hotel, Casino and Spa, The Best Western Plus Lakeway Inn and Conference Center, Bank of the pacific, Barkley Family Dentistry, WELLESSE, Columbia Bank, Ferndale Volunteer Firefighters Association,, Littlefuse, People’s Bank, US Bank, Weight Law Firm, Menchie’s, and Whidbey Island Bank. We would also like to thank Bellingham Golf and Country Club for providing such a beautiful venue for the event!

Dinner this year will make your mouth water - Dinner choices are steak or vegetarian portobello mushroom wellington.  The 8oz. Top Sirloin will be wrapped with Hempler bacon on a bed of pinot noir demi glaze.  The Portobello wellington is a house made puff pastry stuffed with a fire-roasted portobello, seasonal vegetables and smoked mozzarella, served whole.  When you register for the event (click here to register!) you can make your dinner choices.

Hopefully you all will be able to join us this year for a silent auction, wine and hors d’oeuvres, a gourmet dinner,live auction and delicious deserts!  

Check out some pictures from our last year's auctions:

This year our theme is The Big Sock Hop. We encourage you to pull out that ol' poodle skirt and dress to theme :) November 3 at 5:30 - hope to see everyone there! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Washington's Mentor of the Year!

First off, sorry for the delay of this blog. We have been working tirelessly on our upcoming Auction & Gala, The BIG Sock Hop! Its going to be a ton of fun- hope to see you all there!

We have some really exciting news, Stan Chronister, a Big Brothers Big Sisters of NW Washington Board member and Big Brother, has been named Outstanding Mentor of the Year by Washington State Mentors!

Stan has done a wonderful job at taking his little out for fun activities and providing quality one-on-one time for his Little. Because of his mentoring, his Little Brother has grown much more confident and articulate, and now has someone he can always turn to and depend on.

We are so grateful for Stan and all that he has done for BBBS NWW, his little, and our whole community. This award is well deserved, congratulations Stan! Thank you for all you do!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Start the School Year off Right!

We're halfway through September but there is still time to sign up for some of our awesome programs here at Big Brothers Big Sisters! The beginning of the school year is a great time to be matched up with a little brother or sister- help them start the school year of right and mentor them through out the year.

Here are some quick FAQs about BBBS, if you want to read the whole list visit our website

What kind of programs are available?
  • We make matches in three different programs: Community-Based, School Buddies and Mother to Mother

What are the volunteer requirements?
  • Community-Based Bigs:
    • Must be at least 18 years of age.
    • Have no more than 3 moving violations in the last 3 years (if planning on transporting your Little).
    • Can provide proof of car insurance (if planning on transporting your Little).
    • Have not been convicted of a felony within the past 5 years.
    • Have not been convicted of a gross misdemeanor in the past 3 years or any misdemeanors in the past year.
    • No crimes against children. Ever.
    • No sexual crimes. Ever.
    • No violent crimes against another person. Ever.
    • No current illegal drug or illegal alcohol use.
    • Attend an orientation
  • School Buddies Bigs
    • Must be at least a Sophomore in High School or older.
    • Must have Parent Permission if under the age of 18.
    • Meet the same requirements as Community-Based Bigs (with the exception of the driving record).
    • Attend an orientation
    • Be fingerprinted
  • Mother to Mother
    • This is a new program, so we're still working out the details! e-mail if you are interested.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Announcing: Mother 2 Mother Program

Reaching out to Teenage Mothers

Mother-2-Mother (M2M) is a new program at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Washington (BBBS-NW) designed to empower pregnant or parenting teenage mothers to be the best moms and students they can be. Through one-to-one mentoring, we will match these teens with experienced mothers who will guide the teen moms as they navigate high school and motherhood. We hope to see these girls succeed in school, develop nurturing bonds with their babies, learn vital parenting skills, and believe in their own potential.

Why do we need M2M?
  • Each year, over 200 babies are born to teenage mothers in Whatcom County alone.
  • On average, only 40% of teen mothers continue their education after becoming pregnant.
  • Teen mothers have a 20% re-pregnancy rate, meaning that one in five will become pregnant again before finishing school.
How will it help?
  • Data collected from our BBBS sister agency in New York showed that, when mentored, teen mothers’ likelihood of continuing their education rose to 90%.
  • Additionally, the New York data showed that the mentored teen moms’ re-pregnancy rate was just 2%.
How is M2M different than traditional community-based mentoring?
  • All of the mentors will be mothers themselves, and hold at least high school degrees. This will allow them to share parenting and academic advice, as well as emotional support.
What is expected of our mother mentors?
  • Our screening process includes checking the potential mentor’s driving history, doing a background check and calling three references.  We also conduct an extensive interview.
  • Our required 8 hour training gives mentors the tools they need to support their teen mom.
  • Monthly match support calls from BBBS-NW staff ensure the match is thriving.
  • Attendance at the quarterly mentor forums will give mentors on-going support and training.
For more information please phone our office at 360.671.6400.
Visit our website for further details on all our Mentoring Programs.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Your Little Brother or Sister is waiting for you

The Need for Mentors

What if every child in Whatcom and Skagit Counties had all of the support and guidance they needed to graduate high school? Avoid drug and alcohol abuse? Apply for and achieve the career of their dreams? Consider the impact that would have, both on the children and the community. Of the children enrolled in our programs, 82% live in low income families, and 68% live in single parent households. By mentoring a child you are providing fresh perspectives, supporting positive self-esteem, and being a role model for vulnerable children in our community.

Start Something
bigger than yourself.

Mentoring leaves a positive lasting impact on the life of the mentored child, giving them a chance to avoid a lot of life’s many pitfalls like drinking, drugs, gangs and dropping out of school. When compared to their non-mentored counterparts, children with mentors are:

  • 33% less likely to use violence to solve a problem.
  • 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs.
  • 52% less likely to skip school.
  • 97% less likely to become involved with the juvenile authorities.
  • 87% more likely to graduate high school.
  • 75% more likely to receive a college degree.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back to School (Buddies) Time!

It's almost fall, and school will be starting soon, which means that the School Buddies program will be starting back up with it! School Buddy matches meet for an hour a week on school grounds, during school hours, giving kids all the benefits of mentoring within their own academic environment.

School Buddies offers a regular schedule and a slightly lower time commitment than Community-Based mentoring. It's perfect for students, full-time workers, or anyone who just misses recess! By just having fun together for one hour each week, you can help a child stay in school and on the right track.
School Buddies mentoring makes school fun! As a school-based Big Brother or Big Sister, you can improve the life of a local child simply by spending one hour per week at his or her school.

More details on the Big Brothers Big Sisters of NW Washington School Buddies Program

School Buddies is an innovative approach created by Big Brothers Big Sisters to reach a more diverse population of children. The program is designed to improve youth’s social skills as well as foster academic performance. The volunteer meets with the student on the school campus, once a week during school hours, for a minimum of one school year. They play games, shoot hoops, just hang out or work on homework. We have found that programs that encourage activities with a socio-emotional focus are more likely to have greater academic impact, higher quality and longer duration compared to programs that focus on academic/tutoring activities.

The essence of creating strong mentor-student matches is the careful selection, training and support of volunteers. Applicant processing includes a Washington state criminal background check (including fingerprinting), two written references, and an in-person interview.

Mentoring DOES make a difference.

Students involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters’ School Buddies Program were assessed by teachers, parents and volunteers for two consecutive school years. The results were very encouraging. They:

·        developed more positive attitudes toward school.
·        achieved higher grades in math, social studies and languages.
·        experienced improved relationships with adults.
·        experienced improved relationships with peers.
·        were better able to express feelings.
·        developed increased self-confidence.
·        were more likely to trust their teacher.

Check out for more information, or call (360) 671-6400 today.

Your Little School Buddy might already be waiting for you!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer is Here!

Summer is finally here! And with that a whole bunch of new and fun activities for you do to do with your Littles. We would love to hear about what you all have been doing, but first here are some quick ideas!

-If your looking for something adventurous to do, try a hike at Larrabee State Park or around Whatcom falls. Pack some snacks and make a day out of it! 

More information on Whatcom Falls:

-If you and your Little are into arts and crafts, check out CreativiTea in Fairhaven, they have a few fun things going on this summer like Free Slump Wednesdays and The Adventures of Traveling Gnomes 

Learn more here:

-Readers? Then you should go down to Village Books in Fairhaven and join the Big/Little book club! There is no commitment, so you can pick and choose books that appeal to you then drop in. They are held on the last Saturday of every month. For a list of the books click here

-What says summer more than smores by the campfire? Go shopping with your Little and pick up the essentials; Graham Crackers, chocolate, marshmallows, and anything else you can think of! Try stuffing the marshmallows with Rolos, M&Ms, Caramels, chocolate chips... get creative! Replace the chocolate bars with Twix, Reeses, Crunch bars... possibilities are endless!

What have you and your Littles been up to this summer? Share your ideas with us here, on Facebook, or Twitter!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fathers Day!

It is almost Father’s Day.  Are you looking for ideas to either surprise the Dad in your house or ways to just spend the day with the family and do something memorable? Here are some ideas from the BBBS Staff! 
How about forgetting the traditional gift of a new neck tie and think about what your family enjoys doing together?  What are Dad’s favorite things?  It might be reading, listening to music, fishing, hiking, biking or something sports related.  Maybe he enjoys staying home and having a movie night or playing video games with the kids.  After you have his interests in mind, check out your local newspaper website listings for any area events happening around Father’s Day that the Dad in your life might enjoy.
Concert?  Movie?  or Just a Picnic!
Is a concert happening that he might like?  Pack a picnic lunch or dinner and surprise him by taking him to the event.  You could buy him tickets to an event and give them to him as a gift.  We have a fanatic soccer player in our group of friends and they are heading out to enjoy a National Soccer League match in honor of Father’s Day.  How about using those same picnic ideas above but take it to a local park, hiking trail or the nearest lake where he can fish?  For the avid camper in your family, pack up the family vehicle and head on out to your favorite campground for the weekend. 
Think Creative
Maybe your Dad wants to stay home and spend time with his family.  How about a marathon of board games for one night and get all the kids involved in a competition.  Buy a new board game or card game and learn the game together with Dad for his big day.  Add in some of his favorite foods and you have yourself a winning day.  Go Dad!
If your Father lives far away, sometimes a nice phone call is the best gift of all.  Or, if you both have the technology available. try a video chat or upload a video to Facebook or other site for him to watch.
Let your Dad’s interests help you plan a day full of fun with family to honor all he does and gives to the family.  Make it special with homemade cards, breakfast in bed and have the kids take out the trash that day to honor dear ole’ Dad!
Have a wonderful, fun Father's Day!

Friday, March 30, 2012

So excited for Bowl For Kids' Sake 2012!

Can you believe its less than a month away?! It seems like just yesterday we were preparing for BFKS 2011, and its time for 2012 already! We're really excited though, this year is going to be a BLAST and we can already tell that we're going to be raising a ton of money for Big Brothers Big Sisters, think about how many kids we're going to be able to help this year with all of the fund raising that you guys are doing! Thank you all soooooo much :)

For anyone who wasn't able to attend BFKS last year, we would love to have you this year! Heres how it works:

  • Get together a team of your family, friends or co-workers (at least 4 players) and register here 
  • Choose a bowl time, we have times available almost all day: 10:30 am, 12:00 pm, 1:30 pm, 3:00 pm, 4:30 pm, 6:00 pm
  • Start fund raising! You can track what you raise online  
  • Then we'll see you April 21, at Park Bowl in Bellingham for a day of pizza, prizes and fun!

Feel free to have fun with it, pick a fun team name or come in a costume! Some of our teams already registered are Bowlerinas, Rambowl, Strike Happens, Pinheads, and more. What fun name can you come up with?

We've got some amazing sponsors this year that we want to thank Anne Cantrell (CBBain Realty), Archer Group, Barkley Village Family Dentistry, Bayside Engineering, Botanical Labs, Dawson Construction, IMCO, Natural Way Chiropractic, Resources Security Services, Trans-Ocean, Tutor Doctor, Unity Group, WECU, Whidbey Island Bank, and Barlean’s Organic Oils. We dont know what we would do without you!

See you Saturday, April 21! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Big Breakfast Recap!

Listen up Big Brothers Big Sisters fans, 
we have some amazing news to report from our 2012 Big Breakfast! 

As many of you know, January 31, 2012 BBBS hosted a free breakfast to spread the word about the importance of mentoring in the community. What made this years' breakfast even more special was that we had MLB All-Star Jamie Moyer and his wife Karen Moyer there to speak about why mentoring is so important to them.

It was an inspirational morning to say the least!

Now, what I'm sure you've all been waiting for is that big news I mentioned, right? Well we had a lot of gracious people at the breakfast that day and Big Brothers Big Sisters was able to raise over $18,000!

"BBBS-NW is grateful for the support our community has provided to make it possible for more kids, who ace adversity, to receive the mentors they need to help start him or her on the right path," said Bliss Goldstein, CEO.

We would like to give a special thank you to all of our amazing sponsors that helped make this breakfast possible: Alcoa, Sanitary Service Company, Logos Bible Software, Comcast Business Class, and Nooksack River Casino. A BIG thank you as well to Jamie and Karen Moyer and the Moyer Foundation for their dedication to improving children's lives.

If you would like to be apart of our next event then we would love to have you! Bowl for kids' Sake is coming up April 21, 2012. To register just visit our website:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

40 Developmental Assets talked about at the BIG Breakfast

40 Developmental Assets

1.    Family support
2.    Positive Family Communication
3.    Other Adult Relationships
4.    Caring Neighborhood
5.    Caring School Climate
6.    Parent involvement in Schooling
7.    Community Values Youth
8.    Youth as Resources
9.    Service to Others
10. Safety
Boundaries and Expectations
11. Family Boundaries
12. School Boundaries
13. Neighborhood Boundaries
14. Adult Role Models
15. Positive Peer Influence
16. High Expectations
Constructive Use of Time
17. Creative Activities
18. Youth Programs
19. Religious Community
20. Time at Home

Commitment to Learning
21. Achievement Motivation
22. School Engagement
23. Homework
24. Bonding to School
25. Reading for Pleasure
Positive Values
26. Caring
27. Equality and Social Justice
28. Integrity
29. Honesty
30. Responsibility
31. Restraint
Social Competence
32. Planning and Decision Making
33. Interpersonal Competence
34. Cultural Competence
35. Resistance Skills
36. Peaceful Conflict Resolution
Positive Identity
37. Personal Power
38. Self-Esteem
39. Sense of Purpose
40. Positive View of Personal Future