Big Brothers Big Sisters of Missoula faces budget shortfall, appeals to community

Missoula Community:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Missoula needs your help today to keep our doors open and continue our legacy of defending the potential of our most important asset – our children. We’ve reached a critical budget shortfall due to unexpected changes in funding.

Over the last two years, our annual state, federal, and private grants were cut by $120,000. We have done everything in our power to deal with the loss of a third of our annual budget, including reducing staff, but we are still coming up short. Our goal is to raise one year’s operating expenses within the next 30 days so that we can fully develop and adapt our new funding model.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Missoula has served Missoula children and their families for nearly half a century. The program has defended the potential of some 15,000 local children by providing mentors to at-risk children. Currently, more than 100 children are matched with mentors and more than 80 children are waiting to be matched.

In addition to our community based program, we serve matches in the “Bigs in Blue Program,” matching children with law enforcement officer mentors, and serve three school-based mentorship programs in local elementary and middle schools.

Our program works. Our littles are 46 percent less likely than their peers to use drugs, 27
percent less likely to use alcohol, and 52 percent less likely to skip school. Ninety-eight percent of littles graduate high school on time and 94 percent of littles report greater self-confidence.

The children we serve are your neighbors, your children’s friends, and go to your church. They are children of single parents, incarcerated parents, children raised by grandparents, homeless children, and children in foster care. Our mentors have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people.

Every child in Missoula has the potential to change the world.  Big Brothers Big Sisters is here to defend that potential, but we need your help now more than ever to continue our mission.   Please donate today to Big Brothers Big Sisters via our GoFundMe appeal or at our website. With your help, we look forward to serving our community – and its children – for 50 more years.

Sincerely,

Kathy Dahood, Board President

On behalf of the staff and board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Missoula