The Women’s Giving Fund awarded the 2018 high impact grant of $33,000 to Big Brother, Big Sister of Park City. The foundation started in 2013 raising a $1 million endowment. The money generated is earmarked to support programs that support women and children throughout Summit County. Carolyn Murray has this:
Executive Director of the Community Foundation, Katie Wright says when the Women’s Giving Fund was started, women in the community were asked to give a one-time donation of $1000.00. Since then, the endowment has grown to $1.5 million. Since 2014, they’ve awarded high impact grants to PC Tots, The Children’s Justice Center, The Peace House and the Epic Promise Mentoring Program. Wright says the Grant’s Committee considers all applicants from the different non-profits and the 1300 members of the Women’s Giving Fund vote on the final grant recipient.
“And I have to say, they’re always, always so deserving and people say….how do I choose. I say you can go with your heart because they have been vetted. There’s no doubt they are doing critical work in the community. We open up the voting to every member, every year and then we announce the big winner.”
Big Brother, Big Sister of Park City was selected as, the Women’s Giving Fund, grant winner this year. They’ve been in Park City for 12 years but the national organization has worked for a hundred years around the US to pair adult mentors with children facing adversity. Summit and Wasatch County Manager, Lacey Cole Rae says they served 166 children last year. She says the money will go toward hiring a full time staff person, but the prestige of winning the award will have an even bigger impact.
“The position that we will be hiring for is a recruitment and mentoring positon. The position was, as I’ve said, Part time before but having another 20 hours a week will allow that person to really do more outreach, enroll more volunteers and enroll more kids.”
Cole-Rae says they pair mentors with children one on one and require a one year commitment. She says the new full time outreach person will help grow the program with more outreach to both mentors and children in need.
“We have had 80 children, apply, go through the process and we have been unable to match simply due to a lack of having volunteers…now that’s over 12 years. I have 10 kids on my waitlist today that I could pair with a mentor if I had a mentor. It would be nice to grow them in tandem. I would love to not have a giant waitlist for kids. For a child and a family to say I want a mentor and for us to be able say, great, we’ll get you a mentor in 2 weeks or a month. You might not have to wait six months.”
The process they use to match the right mentor with a child involves background checks, interviews, calling references and subjective discussions between staff members.
“We look at what skills and life experiences and strengths an individual brings as a Big Brother, Big Sister and then we look at the kids we have waiting. We ask all kinds of questions like are you more active, are you more laid back, to try to make a good match.”
To find out more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah, go to BBBSU.org or call Lacey Cole-Rae at 435-649-9366.