Big Brothers Big Sisters will soon be expanding its operations in Blackfalds.
Thanks to partnership between Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Lacombe and Blackfalds Boston Pizza, BBBS has received a $25,000 grant that will allow the organization to offer more independent programming options in Blackfalds, rather than constantly piggy-backing off Lacombe programs.
“Finally we can expand into Blackfalds so that not everybody has to travel to Lacombe for everything,” said Crystal Zens, executive director for BBBS of Lacombe.
In addition to the funds, BBBS will be receiving additional office space.
At a regular meeting on June 24th, Town of Blackfalds council voted unanimously in favour of accepting an FCSS board recommendation to undertake a pilot project with BBBS of Lacombe to be reviewed on an annual basis.
Zens commented on how working out of the Blackfalds FCSS office is a good fit as FCSS also has delivered positive youth programs as one of its missions.
“Collaboration is a definite strength.”
With the new funding and additional office space Miranda Kamps, currently a senior case worker for BBBS of Lacombe will become the program coordinator in Blackfalds.
Zens said the office space in the Blackfalds FCSS building and human resources will make BBBS and its programs more accessible to both volunteers and families.
“It allows us to serve our people in more impactful ways,” said Zens.
Zens went on to speak of how the expansion will allow BBBS to grow the volunteer base existing in Blackfalds and better serve young individuals on the Big Brothers Big Sister’s program wait list by matching them up with mentors.
It also will allow Blackfalds to develop its own versions of programs like the popular Kids n’ Kops and Go Girls camps, that will run independent from Lacombe’s to better serve a wider range of youth.
Such an expansion is necessary to better serve the community of Blackfalds, which Zens said is growing fast, making it difficult to manage solely from Lacombe.
“There’s so many young families in Blackfalds and it’s growing so fast,” said Zens. “This is just a phenomenal step in the right direction to bring positive youth programs to Blackfalds.”
To commemorate this expansion and kick off some of the programming, BBBS will be holding a Kiddies Carnival in the Blackfalds Boston Pizza parking lot on July 8th from 5-7 p.m. There will be giveaways, bounce houses and other fun activities for the kids to celebrate all offered free to the community.