100 River Rock Drive,
Suite 104, Buffalo, NY 14207
(716) 873-5833  
  807 W. State St. (C/O The United Way)
Olean, New York 14760
(716) 480.9614  |  fax: (716) 873.6350   |   info@beafriend.org

Archive for the ‘News’ Category



Important Update – Response to COVID-19

At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie, Niagara and the Southern Tier, the safety of the children we serve and their families, as well as our volunteers (Bigs) and staff is always our main priority.

We are closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and are taking steps to minimize the impact of an outbreak. We have decided to make the following precautionary changes to our program’s operations for at least the next three weeks (from now through Monday, April 6):

• Our staff will work remotely from their homes and will be available by email and phone.
• We are restricting all in person contact between our Bigs and Littles during this time, however our staff will be working with our Bigs to help them continue to communicate with their Littles via phone to ensure their mentoring relationship remains strong.
• We have cancelled any travel and scheduled agency events.

We remain as committed as ever to the safety and quality of our mentoring services. During this time of uncertainty and fear, we know that our Bigs will play a very crucial role in the lives of the children we serve, and our staff will be here for our Bigs, children and families whenever needed.

We also encourage everyone to review the recommendations from the Erie County Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control for reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection for yourselves and others.

We will provide you with additional updates about our program’s operations as needed.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your agency contact by phone or email, or email info@beafriend.org.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Stay Up to Date!

Follow us on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn as @BBBSENST.


Help Recruit the Next Generation of Bigs to our Team. 

The Big Draft is here.  You’re on the clock!

We’re thrilled to announce the Big Draft Recruitment Campaign! While the NFL is drafting its next players, we want to engage our community to help us draft the next generation of Bigs. This recruitment campaign stems from the BBBS partnership with the NFL Inspire Change Initiative. The goal of that program is to advance the national conversation and progress on social justice and to create positive change in communities across the country. The NFL supports our efforts to break down barriers and build stronger communities through our mentoring program.  From Feb. 9 – April 25, 2020 Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie, Niagara and the Southern Tier is following the NFL draft, aiming to recruit potential Bigs. 

Our CEO, Thomas Guagliardo was featured on WNY Living over the weekend and discussed how it only takes a few hours a month to make a positive impact on a child in our community.  We need eager people who want to invest in a child’s future.  You can visit biggertogether.org to learn more about the mentoring programs we offer and sign up to become a Big Brother or Big Sister. 

 


BBBS 2019 Holiday Partnerships

Holiday Corporate Partnerships 

Urban Outfitters Partners With BBBS During the Holidays!

In honor of Giving Tuesday, Urban Outfitters will donate 100% of the proceeds of reusable gift wrap sales sold in store and online, between December 1-31, 2019, to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Click here to download the list of stores that will be carrying the gift wrap, which will also be available online at www.UrbanOutfiters.com

Urban Outfitters, Inc., is a lifestyle product and services company, that has a long standing partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence. The relationship began after one of their employees participated in Big Brothers Big Sisters, first as a Little and then as a Big. As a result, Urban Outfitters decided to start a program where a number of their employees mentor a student every other weekend. Urban Outfitters believes that youth mentoring fosters a bright future for our surrounding communities. For more information about this campaign, click here.


Starbucks Announces December 2019 Campaigns 

Big Brothers Big Sisters is excited to announce national partnerships with Nordstrom Rack and Starbucks that will run nationwide from December 1-31, 2019, Starbucks will encourage customers to donate to one of three non-profit organizations: Big Brothers Big Sisters, United Way, or Feeding America, giving back to communities across the United States. The Starbucks Foundation will match online donations made to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America up to $200,000. 


Nordstrom Rack In Store Campaign Launches December 3

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Nordstrom Rack are partnering to celebrate the moments of mentoring. In stores nationwide from December 3-31, customers can purchase a $10 Sponsor A Moment card to celebrate specific moments when mentors make a difference:

• Practicing for an interview

• Helping with homework

• Learning to tie a tie

In addition to the $10 Moment donation, customers will also be able to donate $1 at the cash register. $10 Moment donations and $1 donations are also available online at NordstromRack.com and Hautelook.com, although they will be processed at www.bbbs.org/nordstromrack.


2019 Magical Moments Gala Honorees Announced!

Help us congratulate our 2019 Magical Moments Gala Honorees! 

We will celebrate their dedication to supporting one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth on November 9, 2019 at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel

To learn more about the event contact Ashley Griffin at 873.5833 ext 243 or agriffin@beafriend.org


Lasting Legacy of Friendship

Lasting Legacy of Friendship

Big Sister Continues to Support Agency After Passing

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie, Niagara and the Southern Tier recently celebrated a thoughtful legacy gift made by long-time Big Sister, Janet McMahon, who recently passed away. Janet made one more gift to the Big Brothers Big Sisters program to honor her lifetime commitment to helping children reach their full potential. With Janet’s gift, six local “Littles” in the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program were chosen to receive a gift card to purchase school supplies with their Big Brother or Big Sister for the new school year.

A’laysia and I had a wonderful time shopping for school supplies for her first day of first grade. She told me she hasn’t gotten the opportunity to shop for herself so this was a really fun and laid back experience,” said Big Sister Lois. “We are so humbled by Janet’s donation. This was a great opportunity to get closer to my Little, learn more about her, and also appreciate the generosity of someone who knows the program as well.

Little Sister A’laysia looking for folders

Big Sister Janet McMahon was involved with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Michigan for 10 years and in September 2007, she was matched locally with her Little Sister. Throughout their many years together, they enjoyed great experiences and navigated life’s challenges. In 2016, Janet received the 2nd Annual Thomas Hore and Josephine Santoro Hore Big of the Year Award for the years of unwavering support and guidance she had provided to her Little Sister. Besides volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters, she was also a volunteer at Roswell Park, Habitat for Humanity, WNY Food Bank and Catholic Central Food Pantry. 

 Janet’s dedication to the Big Brothers Big Sisters program helps empower and inspire Littles to reach their fullest potential. The children in the program work everyday towards achieving their personal goals with the support and guidance of their Big Brother or Big Sister.

 

 

 

 

 


Rooftop Views for a Good Cause!

Rooftop Views for a Good Cause!

Our goal: Collect 50 gifts that are valued at $50 or more 

Bring a donation of $50 or more to be used in our Gala auction and enjoy wine, hors d’oeuvres and an awe-inspiring view of Downtown Buffalo and Lake Erie at one of New York State’s highest rooftop bars!  

Please pass the info along – we look forward to seeing you there!

**To RSVP call (716)873-5833 ext. 243 or e-mail agriffin@beafriend.org **


Attention: Welcome Summer Picnic POSTPONED!

ATTENTION Bigs and Littles!

 

 

Unfortunately due to weather we have to POSTPONE our Welcome Summer Picnic that was scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday) June 20th!  

 

Stay tuned for a new date from your Case Manager!

 

Please contact them with any questions.


True North Professional Development Session

Big Brothers Big Sisters Professional Development Opportunity!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at AcQua Restaurant & Banquet
2192 Niagara Street, Buffalo, NY 14207
Registration – 7:30AM
 
Training – 8:00AM-9:30AM
$ 30 Early Bird (Through 5/24) / $40 Regular Registration
 
Click here to register!


 
 
Questions? Please Contact Ashley Griffin 716-873-5833 Ext 243 or agriffin@beafriend.org

Mentors Who Move the City Honoree Kennedy Colon

Kennedy Colon – Defender of Potential

Kennedy Colon is a graduating Senior at the University at Buffalo where she studies Civil Engineering and is the current President of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Collegiate Chapter. Through her affiliation with NSBE and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) she actively searches and engages in any form of volunteerism as a way to serve her community, if there is no opportunity present she will create one. Under Kennedy’s Leadership her NSBE Chapter has won the Chapter of the Fall 2018 Semester for Region 1 and most recently the Silver torch award for conducting the most technical events/outreach in the Region. For the Academic year 2018-2019 she has devoted her time to creating a pipeline in the City of Buffalo to increase awareness and the participation of students k-12 in STEM.

Being born and raised in Buffalo has fueled her passions and made her most effective. She has created partnerships with the Buffalo & Erie county Public Library located downtown, ISEP (Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership), and strengthened her chapters interactions with their NSBE Jr. Chapter located on UB South known as STEP . Before her term is over she hopes to further communications with NYGEARUP and Big Brother Big Sister in order to have a sound relationship for years to come.  To further extend the reach of this pipeline she has helped foster a relationship with a community center and developmental program known as Developing Roots In STEM (DRiS), located in the inner city which is known for hosting STEM Expos and mentoring events. NSBE has helped host the first of these Expo events this past October. In order to make sure this pipeline is strong on both ends, she has created a mentoring program within her society on a collegiate level and has taken on many of her general body members on as mentees. She has re-opened many programs within her society such as study nights, night outs, and soft/hard skill based workshops. Using these programs as her tools, she volunteers as a tutor, speaker and chaperone. 

To further uplift those who are sometimes over looked she has created an annual Award Ceremony entitled Black Engineering Excellence (B.E.E) Awards. Which is meant to honor and uplift those who need encouragement and often lack a solid support system. At this ceremony those who serve their community, support those around them, achieve academic success, are graduating and/or have exemplified the overall meaning of what it is to be a minority Engineer are honored.


Mentors Who Move the City Honoree Gregory Straus

Gregory Straus – Defender of Potential 

Greg Straus is the a Licensed Real Estate Broker at 716 Realty Group and co-founder of Redline Rentals of Buffalo, a high performance and luxury company. Starting from a young age, Greg was instilled with a sense of community and help for others. Greg’s father took care of all the neighbors growing up. Eventually, Greg took over care for those elderly neighbors and started his first business shoveling snow. Being a product of catholic schooling, he always found himself volunteering in some way.

 

Greg was moved to NYC after college for the local company he worked for and while he was there, he became a mentor to a young man named Joshua from Harlem, through a company-local school mentor program. Helping Joshua through 3 years of high school showed Greg that he can and should continue to help others. 

 

After 5 years, Greg knew it was time to go home and Buffalo was the place he wanted to build his future. Greg started his business with a longtime friend and two years later he decided to become a certified SCORE business mentor. Since then, Greg has mentored and presented to hundreds oflocal entrepreneurs to encourage them to achieve their dreams. Greg is also active with the Hertel Business Association and Elmwood Village Association. Greg has been recognized as Buffalo Business First 30 under 30 (2016), Who is Who in Residential Real Estate Award (2017-2018) and Premium Mortgage Top #100 Agent (2018).  Greg enjoys seeing his hard work yield results, not just for himself but for the 30+ people his businesses employ.


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