In response to a request for funding, The Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area has agreed to grant Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore a sum of $5,000 to support their proven mentoring programs. Nearing back-to-school, the third quarter award will provide a necessary financial boost funding program expenses and salaries to recruit, interview, pair and support adult volunteers with an additional 22 children in need of mentoring. It's estimated each match costs $904 annually to support although the programs are free to participants.
While there are other mentoring organizations, the national Big Brothers Big Sisters model, established in 1904, is arguably the most successful mentoring program. Locally, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore has operated since 1969 and serves about 175 children annually through its community-based program in Ottawa, Muskegon, Oceana and Mason counties.