To the good people of Lerners law firm and citizens of the City of London, my name is Joshua. I am 23 years old and I work as a registered nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at University Hospital. I am writing on behalf of Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of London & Area. I was recently matched with my little brother in January of 2019, however my deep appreciation for this organization began fourteen years prior when I was first matched with my own big brother.
Considering I am writing this to a respected law firm, I know its members can appreciate the historical context of BBBS. In 1904, a courtroom clerk by the name of Ernest Coulter recognized that he was seeing more and more youth receiving sentences in his courtroom. He believed that if these young people had a responsible, caring adult in their life, their sentences could be averted.
Big Brothers was introduced to London in 1971 and it has since coalesced with Big Sisters. Although the agency offers five additional programs, each of them admirable in their own accord, its foundation is centered on the 1:1 mentorship between Bigs and Littles.
Big brothers meet with their little brothers once a week on what are called outings. On these outings, the two engage in a wide variety of activities. The activities are primarily focused on the interests of the little brother. The incentive is to establish a therapeutic relationship based on trust and communication. Moreover, outings provide the little brother with experiences they might otherwise never have been able to do, such as spectating a professional hockey game or even jumping on a trampoline.
An important question to consider is how the mentorship of an individual child can have a far greater influence on the City of London. From an empirical perspective, the numbers are quite simple. In 2013, a rigorous research study was conducted by the Boston Consulting Group. Their conclusion was that for every dollar invested in BBBS, there would be an $18-$23 social return based on increased income, volunteering hours and likeliness to achieve post-secondary education from the mentee.
From a more personal perspective, my siblings and I have each graduated university. The three of us work full time in our respective fields and, coincidentally, each of us has been matched with a big brother or big sister. Our abusive father committed suicide when we were children and left our mother with thousands of dollars' worth of debt. There was a clear need at that time for additional support, and BBBS was pivotal in our family’s rejuvenation.
Moving forward, I learned that my little brother had waited for over a year to be matched with me. No child should have to wait that long. Fortunately, I was updated by our match coordinator that since we began going on outings, my little brother has been eating healthier, going to school more often, and appears more excited for his future. I am too.
Learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of London and Area