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Sep14

IMPACT SERIES: This Agency Brings Mentorship for Youth to Peel Region

Categories // Strong Communities, Impact

IMPACT SERIES: This Agency Brings Mentorship for Youth to Peel Region

This longstanding agency provides outstanding mentorship services to over 1,800 youth across Peel Region, and celebrates their 50th anniversary this year.

Drumroll, please, for this incredible agency!

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel (BBBSP) connects mentors – or big brothers and big sisters – to mentees – or little brothers and little sisters - across Peel Region. They create lifelong friendships and valuable memories for anyone that’s involved.

Here’s what team member Mark Onufer has to tell you:

"United Way of Peel Region is synonymous with the Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentoring Program here at BBBSP. Many people don’t realize BBBSP has a variety of 12 mentoring programs in the community and within schools, with United Way of Peel Region providing funding for a significant number of the 1,800 youth we provide service to.  

The year 2017 marks the 50th year of service for BBBSP. As a celebration initiative we decided to reach out to the second ever Big Brother to get his take on the experience and capture his story.

I was sifting through some old scrap books one day when I found a news article showing Ron Lehman shoveling snow with his Little Brother Jim Brooks from 1967. Before we at BBBSP knew it, we were in the living room of his home in Orangeville listening to stories of his time as a mentor.

Ron had an incredible memory. He shared story after story of Jim and him digging for worms, fishing, driving in his truck or riding his pony. He told us about many great memories they experienced together as a match. Ron told us everything, from superb to sad.

He shared one story of the day he got a call informing him his Little Brother Jim had passed away from a brain aneurism at 13 years old. Jim was riding his pony with his siblings when his brain simply turned off, shutting down his organs and his entire body. Ron said it was an incredibly sad day, he still misses his Little Brother and that “Jim was a very, very special person.”

Ron was clearly close with Jim, but while Ron was sad about his loss, he also expressed his excitement for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentoring Program still flourishing today, 50 years later. For this, we have the United Way of Peel Region to thank.

“It’s been a great, great thing for me personally”, said Ron. “I’m glad now that after 50 years we are seeing this organization blossoming the way it should…let’s hope that we keep going.”

Thank you United Way for helping fund such important programs in our community and helping youth like Jim have happy and friendship-enriched lives during their most formative years."

For more information about becoming a mentor like Ron, click here.

Check out more of Ron’s story by clicking here.

When you give to United Way, you allow BBBSP to run their programs across the community! Register for our Campaign Kick-off on September 15 here.

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