Cargill contributes $100K of the $1.8M total raised for Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters at summer soiree event honoring Bill Hanna
Donation helps launch Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters plan to provide mentors for each Kansas child in need
WICHITA, KS – July 10, 2013 – Late last month, Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) announced that their Summer Soiree event, honoring former BBBS board chair, Bill Hanna, raised over $1.8 million for their foundation. Cargill, contributed $100,000 of the total.
The funds will help launch an aggressive, strategic Kansas BBBS plan vetted by Bill Hanna and the Board of Directors to provide a mentor for every Kansas child in need. Hanna has been one of the instrumental factors in Kansas BBBS’ success as he evolved Wichita BBBS into Kansas BBBS, which is now the second largest BBBS agency in the nation. He has contributed to BBBS in all aspects, from volunteering as a Big Brother to promoting to others the importance of taking action for the future of our youth.
According to Kansas Action for Children, childhood poverty in the state of Kansas has increased from 14.5 percent in 2008 to 18.8 percent in 2011, reflecting one of the highest increases in the country during that timeframe. BBBS, a 501(c)3, non-profit charitable organization created in 1904, helps children in poverty reach their potential through professionally supported, one-to-one relationships with mentors. BBBS currently serves 6,000 Kansas children and 4,000 children remain on the waiting list. “Each number represents a life of a child that is in desperate need of positive impact, and that is what drives us to passionately pursue our mission,” says Jody Horner, president of Cargill Meat Solutions and Kansas BBBS board chair.
There are currently over 50 Wichita-based Cargill employees who are mentors in the BBBS program. The program creates meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 6 through 18, and supports these one-to-one mentoring matches throughout their duration. BBBS provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.
Dan Schaefer, assistant vice president of Cargill Beef, has been matched with his “Little”, Andres for 6 years. “At times it seems difficult and inconvenient for me to meet with Andres at different locations and times, but I believe it is important that he has a face of stability somewhere in his life,” says Schaefer. “It all becomes worthwhile when he says “thanks” and gives me a fist bump after every meeting.” Schaefer finds being a “Big” rewarding because he is able to understand the challenges some kids and families deal with and know that he is making a difference in a student’s life.
Cargill is a BBBS national sponsor and is recognized by Kansas BBBS as a top donor. With the support of Cargill as a donor, BBBS is able to keep reaching out to at-risk children and provide them with much-needed role models. Every child that gains a new perspective regains their opportunity to achieve their future goals.
“We are fortunate to work for a company like Cargill that does so much to support the ‘Big’s’ program in terms of both money and employee’s time,” said Jackie Lopez, a current BBBS volunteer. “It’s a great opportunity to be a positive influence in a young person’s life and one that I’m glad I’ve experienced.”
Mike Martin, 316-291-2126, [email protected]
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About Big Brothers Big Sisters
Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, holds itself accountable for children in its program to achieve measurable outcomes, such as educational success; avoidance of risky behaviors; and higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships. Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters is the 2nd largest agency in the nation. Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs children (“Littles”) with screened volunteer mentors (“Bigs”) and monitors and supports these one-to-one mentoring matches throughout their course. The first-ever Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outcomes Summary, released in 2012, substantiates that its mentoring programs have proven, positive academic, socio-emotional and behavioral outcomes for youth, areas linked to high school graduation, avoidance of juvenile delinquency and college or job readiness. Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity, often those of single or low income households or families where a parent is incarcerated or serving in the military, with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. This mission has been the cornerstone of the organization’s 100-year history. Every year, Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters serves nearly 6,000 children across the state.
Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 142,000 people in 65 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit Cargill.com and its news center.