To celebrate Big Brothers Big Sisters month 25 Lacombe and Blackfalds businesses are “Turning the Town Teal” this September.
The campaign is to raise awareness of the need for mentors in the community. Businesses can adopt a box filled with teal decorating supplies they can then use on counters or windows.
Crystal Zens, executive director of Lacombe and District Big Brothers Big Sisters, said the response from businesses has been great this year.
“This is really exciting because we got a new logo last year. It went from purple to teal,” she said. “We used to do pink and purple (decorations) and have a big community response. So, this is even a better response than last year.”
The organization has many kids on their waitlist, and they are encouraging people to volunteer, as this year has been difficult for children.
“With COVID hitting we’re finding our kids having a lot more stressors in their life. Especially with school changes and the loss of their school community through the spring and summer, and being more isolated,” said Zens. “They need to know a loving adult who could be a role model probably more now than ever.”
The organization hasn’t been able to do many of their usual fundraisers this year due to COVID, but the community is helping out where they can.
“This week is very exciting because Smiles Cookies at Tim Hortons is in our honour and it couldn’t come at a more critical time because we lost a lot of funding due to COVID,” she said.
The cookies are selling at Blackfalds and Lacombe Tim Hortons for $1 each, and 100 per cent of the proceeds are going to Big Brothers Big Sisters. The campaign runs until Sept. 19.
“Our goal is to sell 8,000 cookies between the two communities,” said Zens. “We sold 900 [Sept. 14] in Lacombe and we sold 800 [Sept. 14] in Blackfalds.”
They are also raising funds through raffle tickets. The winner will receive a minimum of $2000, but if all the tickets are sold that amount could reach $5000. The tickets are $10 each and can be bought online or at some local businesses until Sept. 30.
Zens said the organization still needs people who are willing to commit to one hour per week as a mentor.
“If people are interested in mentoring, they can definitely contact us still. We’re still operating strong and serving lots of kids in need – probably now more than ever.”