Nearly 40 years of caring!
Big Brothers Big Sisters is a volunteer-driven charitable organization focused on enriching lives through mentoring, with deep roots in Canadian and international communities. Big Brothers Big Sisters is close to 100 years old in Canada and nearly 40 years old in London.
As of February 2009, Big Brothers and Big Sisters became a unified organization in London (BBBSOLA) with a goal to more fully service area children, youth and families. Our new integrated and holistic approach enriches lives and supports the development of a strong and healthy community by proactively connecting children with mentors.
Big Sisters of London
In 1973 a group of London educators and counsellors researched how a Big Sisters agency could help meet the needs of an identified gap in service to girls aged 6 through 16.
By 1974 more community members joined and formed the first Big Sisters of London Board of Directors.
In 1976 Big Sisters of London became a member of the United Way of Greater London.
Throughout the years the cornerstone of the service was the one to one relationship of a girl and a mentor. These relationships promoted positive self esteem through fun and friendship, while also helping girls identify their own strengths.
The Betty Ann and Peter Widdrington Big and Little Sister House
In April 1993, we purchased our house at 406 Oxford Street. Thanks to the incredibly hard work of the entire Board, and most notably Janet Stewart and Betty Ann Widdrington, we took possession of our new home in June of 1993 and were mortgage free as of July 1994.
Big Brothers of London - 38 Years of Caring
Big Brothers of London was incorporated in April 1971 by a steering committee under the leadership of Provincial Court Judge Maurice Genest. The original Committee, which consisted of 29 citizens, proceeded to hire a full-time Executive Director to coordinate the functions of the organization. Up until 1975, the funds were realized through corporate donations, individuals, Civic foundations and two major fundraising efforts. In 1975, United Way Funding began in the London organization.
A New Beginning
On February 1, 2009, we followed the success of other locations across Canada and became a unified organization called Big Brothers Big Sisters of London & Area. Unification is an excellent opportunity for both organizations to take what we do best and make it even better for the benefit of children and families in our community. Looking ahead, we will be able to serve more children for longer periods of time and offer enhanced programs and enriched experiences for both boys and girls.
What does the new organization look like?
Through the eyes of our clients – both boys and girls – the most important things did not change. Children have the same 1:1 matches and the same programs and activities – but now they are together under one roof!
Today ... A New Home!
On December 1, 2009 Big Brothers Big Sisters of London & Area found a new home at 543 Ridout St.