SEPTEMBER 15, 2023: GREATER VANCOVER, B.C. – This Big Brothers Big Sisters Day will be the largest and most widespread lighting event the Lower Mainland has ever seen, on Sept. 18.
Landmarks in nearly every municipality Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver serves will glow teal in support of youth mentorship and highlight the urgent need for local volunteers. Lightings can be found in Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody and North Vancouver.
Big Brothers Big Sisters Day is a provincially-recognized celebration of the volunteers and mentors serving young people in local communities.
This will be the first year municipalities, other than the City of Vancouver, throughout the Lower Mainland participate in recognizing the occasion.
The new lighting landmarks include: Surrey Civic Plaza; Coquitlam lighting features at Lafarge Lake and along Pinetree Way; Port Coquitlam City Hall; Port Moody City Hall; New Westminster City Hall; North Vancouver City Hall; Burnaby City Hall and BC Parkway illuminations between Patterson and Edmonds SkyTrain stations.
In Vancouver, the Pacific Coliseum will be also be a first-time participant to light up in support of the day while Science World will shine once again after missing out in 2022 due to maintenance.
Additionally, Vancouver City Hall, BC Place, the Sails of Light at Canada Place and Burrard Street Bridge will illuminate teal in celebration.
Last year, Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver volunteers served more than 700 youth through it’s free mentorship programs in Vancouver, Surrey, the Tri-Cities, Richmond, Burnaby, New Westminster, the North Shore, Delta and White Rock. Before the pandemic, the organization served more than 1,000 children annually.
In Surrey, the non-profit continues to face a severe volunteer shortage and was forced to paused family intake in April 2021, in response to the lack of mentors. New family intake inquiries are still closed and are instead being added to the organization’s waitlist.
There are more than 30 families in the Surrey waitpool, for the Big Brothers Community Program, with many more on the waitlist to enroll their child into the program. On average, children in Surrey wait more than 2 years to be matched with a volunteer, friend and mentor.
“We’ve experienced a huge drop in total volunteers since the pandemic, but continue to see a consistent rise in demand from families in our communities wanting to enroll in our programs. There are hundreds of children who could greatly benefit from a mentor, if they had one,” Rose Higgins, Program Director at BBGV, said.
“We are all capable of building connections and community if we work together. At Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver, we are here to support youth mentorship every step of the way.”
For those interested in volunteering and becoming a mentor, visit: bigbrothersvancouver.com/volunteer/inquire.
Norman Galimski, Marketing and Communications Coordinator – firstname.lastname@example.org