A Message from CEO Micheal Lawrence | Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City
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A Message from CEO Micheal Lawrence

A lot has happened over the last few days — these are unprecedented times. From all of us at BBBSKC, we sincerely hope that you and your family are safe and healthy. 

As a nonprofit, specifically a nonprofit whose core mission is to defend potential through one-to-one interactions, this crisis is pushing us to make difficult decisions.

But we are confident that we can get through this.

Our mission is more critical than ever, and we still need your support to continue offering our life-changing program to children and teens in our community. We will not lose sight of how programs like ours help combat mental health issues such as loneliness, depression, anxiety, and self-esteem.

We are checking in with our Bigs and Littles on a regular basis and are providing support and resources on how they can stay connected and continue to build a trusting friendship during this time. We are also rallying behind the parents in our program as they face their own challenges as a result of this crisis.

Over the next several weeks, we are going to try new ways of making connections. We are going to create new opportunities for learning and events. And when this is all over, with your help, we are going to bounce back and make our agency stronger than ever.

BBBSKC has several events planned over the next 8 weeks. With new recommendations and restrictions from the city, state, and federal government in mind, we want to share our updated plan for these events with you.

Bigs, Littles, and Staff

First and foremost, the safety of our Bigs, Littles, families, and staff is our #1 priority. All BBBSKC staff began working remotely late last week, and they will continue to do so through at least April 25. We have cancelled all match-related and agency events including Match Intro Meetings, Match Meet Up Meetings, Home Visits, Match Activities and Lunch and Learns until April 25 (at minimum) and will evaluate the plan daily to make the best decisions possible.

We also previously issued strong recommendations that Bigs and Littles not meet in person until at least April 25, and those recommendations remain in effect. We recommend Matches focus on building a friendship through virtual opportunities like FaceTime, phone calls, text, etc.

Standing Ovation

This match event was scheduled for April 19 at Kauffman Stadium during a Royals game. Because this event falls within the 8-week social distancing period recommended by the CDC, and the MLB’s schedule is unknown, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this event for 2020.

This is undoubtedly one of our favorite events of the year, so this is not an easy choice for us — but we promise to make this event as amazing as ever in 2021.

Graduation Ceremony

Another one of our favorite events of the year was scheduled for April 23.  This event also falls within the 8-week social distancing period recommended by the CDC, so we must unfortunately also cancel this in-person event.

While we cannot celebrate our graduating Littles in person, we would still like to honor each of our graduates in a special way.  If you are a Big of one of these Littles, please fill out this form and tell us about your Little, share their plans for after graduation, and attach a picture. BBBSKC will compile all of these submissions into a graduating seniors blog post that we will share on social media and in upcoming newsletters.

Draft Fest

This event was scheduled to take place on April 25 at Arrowhead Stadium as part of our Big Draft campaign.  The Big Draft campaign has already been a huge success — it is now the most successful recruitment effort in our agency’s history, and we are disappointed that we will not be able to celebrate with all of our new recruits in-person.

While the Draft Fest event has been cancelled, our Big Draft recruitment initiative will continue, because our goal remains the same: Draft 400 new Bigs to match with 400 waiting Littles.  The event may not happen, but that doesn’t mean the campaign can’t go on. Anyone who recruits a friend to become a Big will still be entered to win either a trip to the Super Bowl in 2021 or Chiefs season tickets. We are working on a new reward for our new Bigs to replace the Draft Fest event and will send an update in the coming weeks.

Legacy Tournament

Our first golf event of the year is scheduled for May 18 and falls outside of the 8-week event ban.  This event is very important to our agency, so at this time we are still planning to move forward with Legacy.  We will continue to watch the recommendations from the CDC but are hopeful that we will be able to continue with this date and everyone will be ready for some fresh air and social interaction.

Our second golf event will be held on June 1. Teams are almost sold out for both dates. If you are interested in participating, send an email to Maddy@bbbskc.org.

Info Sessions

BBBSKC will cancel all in-person volunteer and parent/child info sessions until April 25 and instead are offering virtual one-to-one and group Info sessions. To RSVP for an upcoming info session, go to www.bbbskc.org/events

Donating Clothes

To protect the health and safety of customers and donors, Savers is doing their part to stop the spread of coronavirus and currently closed. While we will be unable to collect donations through physical stores or scheduled pick-ups, you can still donate your items at any of our 90+ BBBSKC blue bins across the metro area! Your donated items are more critical now than ever to help continue to support our Littles during this unprecedented time click here to find your closest donation bin.

Thank You 

We are so grateful to each of you for your patience, understanding and support during this time. Your health, safety and well-being are our top priority. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at info@bbbskc.org

Together, We Are Defenders of Potential.