This Timber Bench was generously handcrafted from K&R Wood just for the auction. The children and youth they serve are particularly at risk. More than 50 per cent of youth served in Big Brothers Big Sisters programs face four or more adversities in their daily lives. Their risk factors are growing as the stress that our young people experience has been deepened during the COVID-19 pandemic. The anxiety and financial toll imposed by stay-at-home orders means families need more help than ever from a system that is less able to provide it. This auction and other fundraising initiatives will help them stabilize their programs so we are there for the kids that need us the most. (Submitted by BBBS Lacombe)

Lacombe Big Brothers Big Sisters hosts online auction to support matches

Auction hopes to raise over $2,000 to help cover gap created by COVID-19

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lacombe and District is hosting an online auction to help cover the financial gap created by the COVID-19 crisis.

Executive Director Crystal Zens is hoping the auction will raise over $2,000 to support their core programming — which is returning to a more recognizable state.

“Our Hot Lunch Porch program has been busy every Friday, along with moving our online matches back to face-to-face,” she said.

The auction opens on July 1 and will run for two weeks and, Zens said, includes some really unique items such as custom-made wood bench created from local Lacombe lumber.

“We have a really neat wireless mini-projector you hook your smartphone up to and we also have an Apple TV box, along with some Epicure boxes which were donated as well,” she said.

Following the auction, BBBS will host a 50/50 raffle for the remainder of Summer 2020 and Zens said all of those funds will help BBBS matches, who have began to meet in person once again.

“It has been exciting to see. I think they have a new appreciation for their big brothers and big sisters. With the added stress of school ending, it is nice to have that back,” she said.

Given health concerns, some matches are remaining online — which has now been made easier by a new national Big Brothers Big Sisters system.

“You can apply to be a volunteer and be trained and screened. If people want to give back, but don’t feel safe meeting face-to-face — we can do that through virtual means,” she said.

Currently, BBBS Lacombe is in need of around 50 volunteers and Zens hope they will be able to provide matches to these kids soon.

“We will be running our 40 Mentors in 40 Days come September but people don’t have to wait for that volunteer run to apply. They can apply anytime by contacting our office,” she said.

Zens thanked the community for their continued support and also some central Alberta organizations who have helped them through the pandemic.

“Canadian Tire and the United Way donated 1,000 masks for our matches and volunteers, which was phenomenal. We have those available for all of our volunteers and littles,” she said.

You can make a bid on on the auction items using this link: https://www.charityauctionstoday.com/auctions/bids-for-kids-12634.



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

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