WEST SPRINGFIELD — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County (BBBSHC) and four area restaurants partnered in December to raise money to support BBBSHC’s youth-mentoring programs.
The four restaurant partners were located throughout Hampden County and included Springfield’s Nadim’s Downtown Mediterranean Grill, Hampden’s La Cucina di Hampden House, Wilbraham’s Blue Elephant Restaurant, and Holyoke’s Delaney House.
Staff, board members, and volunteers from BBBSHC delivered close to 100 dinners to more than 40 donors during four Fridays in December. Participants chose from customized menus created specifically for the fundraiser.
BBBSHC Executive Director David Beturne formed the partnerships as a creative way to raise funds for his organization during a trying time that has seen revenues and staffing levels cut by more than half. BBBSHC captured 50% of the revenue, and the restaurant partners captured the remaining 50%. Between the fundraiser itself and a sponsorship from Freedom Credit Union, BBBSHC was able to pull in just over $7,000.
Beturne and the remaining staff at BBBSHC know their work of keeping children in Hampden County connected may look different at this time, but is even more important. There are 219 matches at the moment, with a handful of new matches looking forward to meeting for the first time in the coming weeks. One former pair still get together to bake Christmas cookies even though the ‘little’ is 22, showing just how lasting these connections can be. The staff at BBBSHC continues to keep children in Hampden County connected, even during a pandemic.