United Way - color logo TCBig Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Michigan is pleased to announce it is the recipient of a $7,500 Community Impact Grant from the United Way of Northwest Michigan.  The funds from this grant will go towards supporting mentoring relationships in Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Antrim counties.

In January, the United Way Citizen Action Team reviewed grant applications from several non-profits and participated in each of the agency interviews. BIGS was selected to receive funding in the United Ways Community Impact area of Education, which focuses on strategies that help young people graduate from high school and stay on a path for a successful post-secondary school launch.  BIGS will recruit mentors to work with children one-on-one throughout the year in both school and community settings.

Anyone interested in being a Big Brother or Big Sister is encouraged to call BIGS at 231-946-2447 ext. 219.

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BIGS received a $5,000 grant award from the Petoskey Harbor Community Foundation to help us work more efficiently and effectively. The project included upgrading our program technology hardware in order to optimize the use of our newly required Agency Information Management System (AIM) program database. This grant award allowed us to purchase a new laptop and Wi-Fi services so that our staff could work remotely in the Char/Em region to better serve our clients. These technology upgrades have allowed us to better track and support our mentoring relationships; more efficiently work in the field where the majority of our mentoring relationships take place; address child safety concerns first hand; document monthly support contacts; and ultimately serve more kids. BIGS increased its mentoring services by 15.5% over the previous year, and is on target to reach its 2018 goal to serve 200 children annually in the Char/Em region. Our THANKS to the Petoskey Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation for supporting this project.

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"Every child deserves a champion: an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists they become the best they can possibly be." - Rita Pierson

"Every child deserves a champion: an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists they become the best they can possibly be." - Rita Pierson

Thank you to every single Big who mentors a child in our program! The Big Brothers and Big Sisters who volunteer their time, truly make a profound difference in the lives of the children they mentor. They help children remember that they matter and with their your consistency are proving  that you will never give up on kids.

Watch Rita Pierson deliver "Every Kid Needs a Champion" - we promise it's worth every moment!

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TRAVERSE CITY, MI (November 2, 2015) – Shop Your Community Day will be held in downtown Traverse City on Saturday, November 14, 2015 to benefit local charities, including Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Mark your calendar and make sure to shop on Saturday, November 14 when 15% of each purchase you make will be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters OR the charity of your choice!

“This is a great opportunity to get a head start on your holiday shopping AND support the community, local businesses and area charities.” said Cecilia Chesney, Executive Director at Bigs.

Simply look for the shopping bag and balloons, which will be used to identify the 63 stores participating, and 15% of each purchase you make will be donated to your charity of choice.

For additional details and a complete listing of participating stores and nonprofits, please visit

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan was established over 50 years ago to help children reach their potential through one-to-one mentoring relationships that have a measurable impact on youth. Visit for more details.


For more information contact Cecilia Chesney at (231) 392-6497 or

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Clowie was so excited to meet her Big Sister at school for the first time last week! Clowie struggles Fawna and Clowiewith friendships and is often seen sitting alone at lunch. When the kids gather in groups for special projects and/or games, she is often by herself.

Clowie was thrilled when her new Big Sister Fawna joined her class and helped work on her paper mache project - they made a pig! When Clowie's classmates noticed she and her Big Sister working together, several of them decided to join in.

Clowie's teacher commented that this was the first time she's seen Clowie smile in a long time!

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