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Daily News

GREENFIELD — Innovation and the long desire to serve more youth from the outlying areas of Franklin County has led to the launch of a new, fully virtual mentoring program from Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Franklin County.

“Our goal is always to keep kids connected, and nothing drives this home more than a pandemic,” said Jennifer Webster, executive director of BBBS. “Youth are shouldering so much of this global crisis, their school lives disrupted, their home lives changed dramatically, and the uncertainty of their future. We knew we had to find a way to serve even more kids and keep them connected, right now.”

The new Big Brothers Big Sisters virtual mentoring program will utilize rising high-school juniors as well as community-college students to act as mentors to youth ages 6 to 12 from Franklin County. The matches will meet virtually once weekly with guidance and support from the BBBS trauma-informed case-management team and will last for a duration of one year.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for young adults to have a big impact in their community,” Webster noted. “Who better to help guide a youngster than someone who has just been through the same developmental stages and has community insight?”

Big Brothers Big Sisters is currently recruiting and enrolling for this program. If you are, or know, a rising high-school junior and/or community-college student who would like to serve as a mentor, or you know a youth age 6 to 12 who could use a community mentor and friend, BBBS encourages you to reach out. Program information can be found by visiting www.bbbs-fc.org.

Daily News

GREENFIELD — Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Franklin County announced the launch of its 2020 Graduation Sign Fundraiser. Be it kindergarten, sixth grade, eighth grade, high school, or college, graduation is a huge milestone, and Big Brothers Big Sisters wants to help celebrate.

“An Awesome 2020 Graduate Lives Here” signs are available for sale on the Big Brothers Big Sisters website, www.bbbs-fc.org. Each single-sided sign measures 24 inches wide by 18 inches high, comes complete with a metal-frame sign stand, and will be delivered free anywhere in Franklin County. The cost is $22 per sign, with proceeds benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County. Anyone outside of Franklin County is welcome to order and arrange for pickup or to meet a BBBS staff member.

“There are two styles to choose from,” said Ericka Almeida, Development director of Big Brothers Big Sisters. One is printed to the full size of the sign, and the other has extra space, making it self-customizable. “It has about 9 inches of space to add a pic of your graduate, a sticker of their school, a personal message, or simply their name,” she added.

Questions about this fundraiser may be directed to [email protected].

Daily News

GREENFIELD — Grab your bell bottoms, spritz your beehive, and get ready to groove as you slide back to the ’60s at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

Bowl for Kids’ Sake will take place on Friday March 27 at Shelburne Falls Bowling Alley and Saturday, March 28 at French King Bowling Center in Erving. This year’s theme, “Slide Back to the 60’s,” will feature a life-size plinko game, 60’s dance instruction, a newlywed-themed photo booth, era-themed music, costume contests, bowling, and much more.

“This event is so important to our agency,” said Ericka Almeida, Development director for Big Brothers Big Sisters. “We started 2020 off with more youth on our waitlist than ever, despite making and supporting a record number of mentoring matches in 2019. The need for mentors is great in this community and continues to grow.”

There is no cost to attend the event, but fundraising is strongly encouraged. “We have a goal to raise $45,000 over the two-day event, which will help get some of the 76 kids off our waitlist and into caring relationships with adult mentors,” Almeida said.

Big Brothers Big Sisters programs are provided at no cost to the children or children’s families, nor to the volunteer mentors. It is a 100% donor supported nonprofit that has been serving the youth of Franklin County for 53 years.

For more information about the event or to register to attend, visit www.bbbs-fc.org or call (413) 772-0915.