Big Brothers Big Sisters Campaign Calls for More Men to Mentor

Big Brothers Big Sisters is launching Phase II of its Campaign for Men to recruit more male mentors in communities across the United States.

Funded in part by a generous grant from the Arby’s Foundation and introduced last year, the campaign is aimed at attracting more male volunteers, particularly African-American and Hispanic men. More than 70 percent of the children waiting for mentors are boys, but only three out of every 10 inquiries about volunteering come from men.

Phase II of the campaign launches this month and will provide Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies across the country with general and targeted marketing materials to recruit African-American, Hispanic and Asian men. Among the materials are web, print and bus shelter ads and other outdoor media to run in their local markets. Agencies will also receive “100 Men in 100 Days” recruitment kits, developed and implemented successfully last year by Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Detroit agency.

In addition, Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies will receive African- American male recruiting videos. While more than a third of the Little Brothers served by the Big Brothers Big Sisters network are African-American, only 15 percent of the nonprofit organization’s male mentors are.

Last month, syndicated sports radio personalities, The 2 Live Stews joined the effort with a campaign called, Mentoring Brothers. Doug and Ryan Stewart, biological brothers who are also mentors with Big Brothers Big Sisters, urge their listeners to join the movement at MentoringBrothers.org, a micro site established as part of the Campaign for Men. The Stews also enlisted the support of their sports and urban media buddies, including syndicated radio personality, Tom Joyner, to use the airwaves and websites to help spread the word about the need for African-American men to become mentors. Also, as part of a longtime partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters, the historically African-American Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity continues to host barbershop and other community recruitment drives.

“We are pleased that our grant initiative supports a program that is having a powerful impact on America’s youth,” said Greg Hawkins, Senior Vice President of Community Partnerships, Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. “With the introduction of the campaign last year, Big Brothers Big Sisters has begun to see a significant increase in the number of male volunteers in general. This year, with grassroots buzz generated by The 2 Live Stews and other urban radio personalities, we are seeing increased interest among African-American men. We expect the new tools for Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies will help immeasurably.”

The 260,000 Children served by Big Brothers Big Sisters are among America’s most vulnerable – those who live in poverty, single-parent homes or households where a parent is incarcerated. Independent research finds having a Big Brother or Big Sister improves a child’s odds for succeeding educationally and socially and breaking negative cycles.

About the Arby’s Foundation

The Arby’s Foundation, Inc., a non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation, is grounded in the belief that every individual has the power to make a difference. Since its inception in 1986, the Arby’s Foundation has provided more than $27 million through Arby’s Charity Tour events, in-store fundraising, community events and grant programs to support youth education and mentoring initiatives. In 2008 the Arby’s Foundation and it’s local operators raised over $5 million for over 400 local BBBS agencies, and for two consecutive years awarded over $800,000 in grants to support Big Brothers Big Sisters’ “Campaign for Men,” an initiative to assist the organization in reaching its goal of recruiting more male mentors. For more information on the Arby’s Foundation, please visit www.arbysfoundation.org.

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