Can you ‘spare’ two hours? Help ‘strike’ a match at Bowl for Kids’ Sake

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It may be cold outside but you can enjoy an evening inside with friends and help children at the same time.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Ohio (BBBSECO) is holding their annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake March 11 in Atwood Lanes in Dellroy. Teams of four gather sponsors and will participate from 5-7 p.m. or 7-9 p.m.

Bowl for Kids’ Sake is BBBSECO’s signature fundraiser, raising nearly one-third of the annual operating budget. BBBSECO is a donor and volunteer supported organization. Established more than 40 years ago in Tuscarawas County, the agency began serving Carroll County in 1988. The organization’s mission is “to provide children facing adversity with one to one professionally supported mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better forever.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters depends on donations to conduct background checks on volunteers to ensure child safety, and provide ongoing support for children, families and volunteers to build and sustain long-lasting relationships.

Programs offered through BBBSECO include:

Community-based Mentoring: Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations, and others in the community, BBBS pairs children “Littles” ages 7-14 with volunteer mentors “Bigs” and monitors and supports the one-to-one mentoring. The Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outreach Survey shows their mentoring programs have proven, positive academic, socio-emotional and behavioral outcomes for youth.

School-based Mentoring: The program matches an adult or high school volunteer with students in grades K-8. In Carroll County, 6th grade students at Bell-Herron Middle School and students in Malvern Elementary benefit from the program. Mentors for Bell-Herron students meet on Tuesdays from 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Another program, Amachi Mentoring, serves some of the most at-risk children, children of incarcerated parents. This program began in 2003 and is available in both community-based and school mentoring. All mentors for this program must be 18 years or older to volunteer.

In 2015, BBBSECO supported over 300 matches, 52 in Carroll County. Funds stay in the community to help match more children with volunteers plus provide training and coaching support.

For more information on Bowl for Kids’ Sake, contact Lindsey Jones, operations assistance, at 330-339-6916, via email at ljones@bbbseco.com or by visiting www.bowl-forkids.com.

To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Ohio, visit their website at www.bbbseco.org.