From:  Jackie Bright, BBBS of the Central Blue Ridge                    
Date:   August 27, 2015
Email:  jbright@blueridgebigs.org
Phone:  (434) 244-0882 x107

BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF THE CENTRAL BLUE RIDGE AND MADISON HOUSE’S BIG SIBLINGS PROGRAM ANNOUNCE NEW PARTNERSHIP

Charlottesville, Va., September 1, 2015 – The operative word is big –as in big brothers, big sisters, big siblings, big…news.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge (BBBS) and Madison House’s Big Siblings Program are forming a new partnership. Student volunteers through Madison House will benefit from training and coordination with the professional staff of BBBS. BBBS will gain valuable support from Madison House’s student leadership and volunteer recruitment network on Grounds. Most importantly, the youth of Central Virginia will benefit from the partnership’s large pool of highly-trained and supervised mentors.

An independent non-profit organization founded by University of Virginia students in 1969, Madison House coordinates the efforts of more than 3,000 UVA students each year as they volunteer more than 110,000 hours at approximately 170 local sites, partnering with a range of local organizations and agencies. One of Madison House’s many initiatives is the Big Siblings program, which for more than 45 years has helped foster relationships between students at the University of Virginia and local children in need of positive adult role models.

Through this new partnership, Madison House’s Big Siblings program volunteers will work closely with the professional staff of BBBS with the shared goals of helping children facing adversity graduate on-time from high school, successfully enter the workforce or secondary education, develop strong socio-emotional competencies, and avoid risky behaviors.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with an organization that has such a long and respected history in coordinating child mentoring in the community,” said Jackie Bright, Executive Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge. “This partnership is great news for us, great news for Madison House’s Big Siblings Program, and great news for the community. Combining the efforts of our two mission-aligned programs will reduce redundancies, and improve program efficiency and effectiveness. We’re excited by the many possibilities that this new partnership offers.”

“Madison House’s Big Siblings program has given thousands of UVA students the opportunity to serve as positive and caring role models for local kids for more than 45 years. Partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters will ensure that our volunteers continue to be well-matched and well-trained, and that the mentor-mentee relationships will be successful by any measure,” said Tim Freilich, Executive Director of Madison House. “Madison House’s Big Siblings Program has a vast pool of the best and most highly-motivated UVA students who are eager to serve. Big Brothers Big Sisters has the professional expertise backed by their national organization. This partnership is a win-win for everyone involved.”

For more information or to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge and Madison House in this new partnership, visit www.blueridgebigs.org or www.madisonhouse.org.

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