By Chase Rheam
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Big Brothers, Big Sisters is one of 13 agencies supported by the Stillwater United Way.
“Our mission is to provide professionally supported, one to one mentoring,” said Director Stephanie Fry. “We serve the children that need us the most. We serve children on all ends of the spectrum, growing up in single-parent homes, living in poverty and with parental incarceration.”
Fry said they have been able to serve more than 130 children this year. They have more than 75 matches for big brothers and sisters.
“The services that you are supporting with the United Way include the mentoring service of Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and we can say that the impact that we have is going to be directly affected by the funding that we receive,” Fry said. “We’re going to have a greater impact with the more funding that we receive.”
Stillwater United Way Administrative Assistant Kim Hall said they have received a little more than $700,000 so far. They aim to reach their $850,000 goal. If this goal is not reached, it could impact funding to agencies such as Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
“If the United Way funding was cut, a couple of things would happen,” Fry said. “Because they provide for a third of our budget in a typical year, we would not be able to grow our program. We do our best to maintain the matches that we have in place and funding allows us to continue to add littles and take littles off of our waiting list.”
Fry said that studies show children who have a Big Brother or Big Sister are less likely to engage in risky behavior and have better relationships with family and friends. She calls the United Way’s support important and said they are privileged to serve with them and have their support.
For more information on donating to the United Way, visit www.unitedway.org.