Big Brothers and Regional Recycling Announce New Partnership

Big Brothers and Regional Recycling Announce New Partnership

BBGV logo

LOWER MAINLAND, BC – On April 1, Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver (BBGV) and Regional Recycling announced a new partnership to support youth mentorship through responsible recycling.

For the month of April, Regional Recycling will donate 100% of revenue from bottles donated at all of their Lower Mainland recycling facilities to the not-for-profit organization.

Residents can donate at recycling centres located in Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby, Surrey and Abbotsford or book a free bottle pickup online through the Depozip.ca.

“Supporting Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver was an easy decision to make. Both our organizations align in supporting our communities for a better future through caring for our environment and our youth,” Rod Lotzkar, Regional Recycling founder, said.

Regional Recycling provides modern recycling services for plastics, metals, electronics, household items, and more, with facilities across Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Sea to Sky and Nanaimo regions. They select local non-profits to support through their Charity of the Month initiative.

“We’re thrilled to have such a reputable and sustainable partnership. It’s a perfect match that parallels our clothing donation program to fundraise for our programs,” Slav Gudelj, general manager of BBGV’s Renew Crew Foundation, said.

The Renew Crew Foundation’s mission is to raise funds for BBGV’s free youth mentoring programs by collecting donated clothing and household goods. They are guided by their values to reduce, reuse and recycle in order to preserve our environment for the future of local children.

The public can book a free pickup online to donate clothing or household items. You can also choose host a donation bin at a residence or workplace, or donate at BBGV donation bins located throughout the Fraser Valley.

More than 750 children and youth benefit from the volunteer-led BBGV mentorship programs each year throughout Greater Vancouver supported by donations like these.

To learn more about BBGV’s program visit bigbrothersvancouver.com

To responsibly and sustainably dispose of your bottles, and more, visit regionalrecycling.ca

Contact: Norman Galimski – Marketing, Communications & Recruitment Officer: ngalimski@bbgv.com

Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver Welcomes New Board Chair

Volunteer and Educator, Fred Haiderzada, Takes the Helm in 2024

Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver (BBGV) welcomed a new Board Chair, Fred Haiderzada, for the first time in more than a decade, in January.

Haiderzada, a volunteer Big Brother, seven-year sitting board member and life-long educator, now takes the reins of the non-profit near and dear to his heart.

“I am truly excited to take on the role of Board Chair at Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver. My vision for the future involves fostering even stronger community engagement, expanding our volunteer base and implementing innovative programs to ensure that every child in our region has access to the support they need to thrive,” he said.

“We are thrilled to have Fred leading our board of directors,” Valerie Lambert, BBGV Executive Director, said.

“His proactive approach, leading from the front of the organization as an active volunteer and long-time board member, will no doubt help us reach our goal to serve more than 1,000 children and youth each year throughout our region.”

The issue at the forefront of the organization is the ongoing volunteer shortage and reopening family program intake in Surrey.

Since April of 2022, the charity has had to stop accepting new children into their Surrey Big Brothers Community Program due to a lack of volunteers. The organization needs 30 volunteers immediately to reopen new family intake. Youth currently in the Community Program waitpool can expect to be there for more than two years before being paired with a volunteer.

Haiderzada has been an active volunteer in the Surrey Community Program for the past six years.

“Surrey holds a special place in my heart and addressing the volunteer shortage in this community is a top priority. My goal is to rally support, increase awareness and recruit dedicated volunteers so we can reopen the doors of opportunity for families in Surrey. Together, we can make a lasting impact on the lives of the children who are eagerly waiting for a mentor,” he said.

The organization’s mission, “empowering youth to reach their full potential through mentorship,” is something that first spoke to Haiderzada all the way back in his adolescent years when he booked his first clothing donation for his family.

“Mentoring is a transformative experience, both for the mentor and the mentee. As an immigrant who arrived in Canada as a teenager, I understand the profound impact that guidance and support can have on one’s life. My high school teachers, university professors and mentors played a pivotal role in shaping my professional and educational journey. Now, as Board Chair at Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver, I feel a deep sense of obligation to give back to the community, especially to the youth who will be the future leaders. I believe in the power of mentorship to unlock the full potential of every child in our community,” he said.

Haiderzada takes over from former board chair, Tony Miles, who served the organization in various capacities since 2010.

You can see a full list of the 2024 BBGV board of directors online.

Largest-Ever B.C. Lower Mainland Illumination for Big Brothers Big Sisters Day

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.

Media Contact:
Norman Galimski, Marketing and Communications Coordinator – ngalimski@bbgvf.com 

Big Brothers Big Sisters Month Focuses on the Science of Mentorship Amid Volunteer Shortage


August 31, 2023: GREATER VANCOVER, B.C. – September is Big Brothers Big Sisters Month and Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver (BBGV) is on a mission to prove the benefits of mentorship for youth.

The local agency is launching a new campaign, called “Mentorship Equals,” to highlight the research that measurably demonstrates how children benefit from the mentorship equation their free programs offer.

“The data clearly demonstrates what we’ve seen in practice over decades of intentional relationship-building. Mentorship creates connection, inclusion and belonging for children and carries positive and reciprocal benefits in the lives of mentees and their mentors well into the future,” Rose Higgins, Program Director at BBGV, said.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Month is a provincially-recognized celebration of the volunteer-mentors serving youth throughout our communities. It’s also a time when the organization shines a light on the large shortage of volunteers needed to meet the demand of families looking for a mentor.

In this science-based initiative, Big Brothers and Big Sisters Canada (BBBSC) has taken proactive action.

During the summer 2020, BBBSC partnered with researchers from York University, Drs. Craig and Pepler, and the University of Victoria, Dr. Ames, on a collaborative research project, Building Bigger Connections.

The findings were clear: Big Brothers Big Sisters mentees reported feeling more supported and less isolated, worried or anxious than youth outside of the program. Children enrolled in the program also reported better mental health while facing equal or greater adversities than their non-mentored peers.

Additional research from Search Institute suggest that by volunteering as a mentor, one person can have significant and profound impact on the life of a child facing adversities.

“After decades of forming hypotheses, conducting surveys, crafting and rewriting definitions, analyzing data and writing journal articles, Search Institute researchers and practitioners have arrived at a surprisingly simple conclusion: nothing—nothing—has more impact in the life of a child than positive relationships,” Peter Benson, former Search Institute president and CEO, said.

Through their free volunteer-led programs, BBGV’s mission is to empower children and youth to reach their full potential though impactful mentoring relationships in collaboration with local communities.

“Mentorship happens when we express care, provide support, challenge growth and expand possibilities for children and youth,” Higgins explained.

Before the pandemic, the organization served more than 1,000 young people in Greater Vancouver per year. In 2021 to 2022, the non-profit served 723 children due in large part to a nation-wide volunteer shortage. However, since then, there have been signs that the tide may be turning.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in volunteer applications over the last year, but even with that bump in numbers we still have a long way to go to meet the needs of our community and serve as many children as we did before the pandemic began,” Higgins said.

“While this a positive trend in the right direction, we cannot ignore the current picture. We have the largest need for volunteers in our communities ever with over 80 children ready and waiting to be matched with a mentor. In Surrey, the demand has passed a critical point. Since April of 2021, we’ve paused accepting new family applications for our Community Program until we’re able to find enough volunteers for the children already in our waitpool.”

Currently there are more than 30 youths in the Surrey waitpool with many more families on the waitlist.

The term “waitpool” is used by BBGV to describe children approved for their programs and are in the process of finding and being matched with a volunteer while “waitlist” refers to the number of families who have inquired about enrolling their child into the mentorship program, but cannot be accommodated due to the shortage of volunteers.

“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,” Higgins said.

“We are all capable of building connections and community if we work together. At BBGV, we are here to support youth mentorship every step of the way.”

BBGV runs mentorship programs in Vancouver, Surrey, the Tri-Cities, Richmond, Burnaby, New Westminster, the North Shore, Delta and White Rock.

For those interested in volunteer and becoming a volunteer, visit  bigbrothersvancouver.com/volunteer/inquire.

B2Gold Big Brothers Golf Classic Raises $350,000 for Youth Mentorship

A golfer tees off

The cold and rain are here to stay, so we want to take look back at the wonderful day at the Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club for our annual B2Gold Big Brothers Golf Classic!

It was so much fun in the sun that was made even better by how much we raised to support children and youth in our communities: $347,351!

Ninety-four golfers hit the greens for a good cause, which was all made possible by our 29 generous sponsors.

A special thank you to B2Gold Corp. for their continuous support over the last 11 years as our Title Sponsor, in our annual fundraising event at the beautiful Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club. Our Gold Sponsors included; Calibre Mining, Raymond James, Haywood Securities, Wheaton Precious Metals, BMO Capital Markets, FLSmidth, National Bank, and Langara Island Lodge. Our Media Sponsor and banquet dinner host was Global BC accompanied by their very own Mark Madryga.

We sincerely appreciate the valuable role you play in this event year after year!

But what is a good day without great food?People gathering outside of a food truck

Well, the tournament was made extra-special by our on-course supporters and vendors; Studio Brewing; CrackOn Food Truck; Casino Royale; 2000 Cigars; and Tornado Potatoes.

 They kept everyone well-fed and in high-spirits throughout the long sunny day. Golfers were treated to decadent food, specialty cocktails, lavish on-course activities and more. This year we increased on-course activities, hosted an online silent auction, and a cocktail reception – all of which was followed by a banquet dinner.

B2Gold's CEO, Clive Johnson (centre), with our Big and Little Brothers Cameron and Quan alongside his guardian, Susan.
B2Gold’s CEO, Clive Johnson (centre), with our Big and Little Brothers Cameron and Quan alongside his guardian, Susan.

The event couldn’t have been such a BIG success without the support of 39 awesome volunteers. These amazing people supported us by running golf contests, managing registration, selling raffle tickets and so much more. Their behind-the-scenes efforts are what made this day such a fun and smooth experience for everyone.

As we emerged from the challenges of the pandemic, we’re proud to say that we served more than 750 children and youth across the Greater Vancouver. Our goal is to make children and youth feel supported and connected to their community, friends, family, and to themselves. We will continue to serve our communities through connection by matching our Littles with Bigs who, more than a mentor, are a friend.

Of course, for Big Brothers to make as many matches as we can – it takes time, effort, and support of the community. It is through community events like the B2Gold Big Brothers Golf Classic and the participation of sponsors and donors that help us create impactful long-lasting change.

Ways to get involved in the 2023 B2Gold Big Brothers Golf Classic:

  1. Sponsor the event
    Benefits include media coverage, event signage, multiple forms of print material, advertisement space in our tournament yearbook that is sent to all attendees and corporate sponsors (in-print and online).  As well, inclusion in our Annual Report and our Big Night of Stars award ceremony.
  2. Treat your clients or staff to a round of golf
    We’ve got everything covered to give your guests the VIP treatment – all you have to do is sign them up and we’ll handle the rest. Don’t forget to reserve a spot for yourself! You won’t want to miss this!
  3. Donate products to be showcased
    Have your item featured in our extensive silent auction or provide a prize for one of our on-course contests.
  4. Support an on-course activity
    Join our exclusive line-up of vendors offering food, beverage, and product samples.

The opportunities to build your brand and product exposure don’t end there. Our team is happy to work with you to discuss other sponsorship and recognition opportunities that are unique to your company.

Get in touch with our events team at events@bbgvf.com.

Want to give back to the community with us when you can?

If you would like volunteer with us, but you don’t have the time to be a Big, don’t worry! You can volunteer with us at one of our events. We’re always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to join one of our many events throughout the year.

Join us at marathons, holiday parties, golf tournaments, and more! Volunteering with us is a great opportunity for networking, getting involved with your community, and working for a BIG cause while having a great time.

Volunteer at an event with us!

Watch this year’s B2Gold Big Brothers Gold Classic:

Big Brothers Big News: E-newsletters Library

Big Brothers Big News

Our bi-monthly E-newsletter gets you the inside scoop into everything Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver. You’ll get to read great stories about our matches, what YOU (our communities and volunteers) are doing to support youth where we live, news of past and upcoming fun events for matches and their families to attend, see some fantastic photography and much more! 

Haven’t subscribed yet? Click here!

Below, you can find our catalogue of previous E-editions.

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