VANCOUVER, BC – Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver made the unfortunate decision to close the Big Brothers Big Sisters Sea to Sky Corridor offices and programming, effective immediately. This closure is due to the substantial negative financial impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the organization.
The unforeseen pandemic resulted in a significant loss of revenue for the organization, which fell over 80% almost immediately. Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver is a community-supported organization that raises funds from multiple sources in order to meet the growing needs of children and families throughout the Lower Mainland.
For the organization, primary sources of funding come from donations, events, clothing donation initiative, and government grants. Because of the pandemic, each of the funding sources would collapse in the space of mere weeks due to shift in funding priorities from granters, the cancellation of the annual Bowl for Big Brothers event, and suspension of the clothing donation operation.
Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver provides one-on-one mentorship and group programs for over 1,200 children and youth each year. The organization has been serving the communities in the Sea-to-Sky Corridor from Squamish to Whistler since the early 2000’s. Since that time, the organization has worked very hard to support mentorship programs in the region. Closure of the Sea-to-Sky offices and programming means that over 155 children and families are impacted.
“We are doing our best to meet the needs of existing community matches. Unfortunately, we just don’t have the financial means to keep the Sea-to-Sky programming going at this time” says Valerie Lambert, Executive Director of Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver. “We are proud to have served the communities and we hope we are able to serve families in Squamish and Whistler in the future as we re-evaluate our programs and impacts from COVID-19. We aim to still serve our core Big Brothers Big Sisters program with the support of our staff in the Vancouver office.”
If the public would like to support the organization during this critical time to help sustain mentorship programs across the Lower Mainland, the organization has set up a COVID-19 Response Fund for donations: https://www.bigbrothersvancouver.com/covid-19-response/
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