Whidbey News-Times


BBBS is a program community should be supporting | Editorial

December 5, 2012 · Updated 3:05 PM

I was fortunate as a child to have parents who were actively involved.

My mom helped me sell Girl Scout Cookies, my dad planned all our camping trips and they were at every tee ball game.

It’s important for children to have positive adult role models in their lives.

I was lucky to have two active parents. Not every child is.

Last Friday I attended Festival of Trees, a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Island County.

It was a night of dinner, drinks, laughter and fun — all for a good cause.

An estimated $95,000 was raised from the live and silent auctions.

That’s roughly 50 percent of the chapter’s annual operating budget.

The event just oozed giving. From $100 raffle tickets for first dibs on the beautifully decorated trees to battles over who is going to spend the most for a Maltese puppy, it was all in the spirit of charity.

The organization operates across the country and in many countries across the world.

Carefully screened adults are paired with children who may not have the most stable home life or any home life for that matter.

The Island County Chapter was founded 14 years ago and started making matches in February 1999.

According to outgoing Executive Director Peggy Dyer, there are currently 160 active matches.

Those matches are a combined effort between community and school-based matches.

Dyer said the organization averages 250 matches each year. Currently there are 73 kids on a list, waiting to be matched with an adult.

While not everyone can attend an event such as Festival of Trees and drop large sums of money, there are ways to get involved.

The organization needs adults who can be positive influences in these children’s lives.

It’s frequently said that the children are our future. We should be supporting them.

And we can, with our time.

Learn how to get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Island County by going to www.bbbsislandcounty.org or call 360-279-0644 the North Whidbey office in Oak Harbor or 360-221-6808 ext. 5417 for the South Whidbey office in Langley.


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