Friday, June 15, 2012

Making a BIG Difference: Big Sister Becky Murphy Shares Her Story

I moved to Waco in August of 2010. It took a few months to get settled, but I knew that when I did, I would need to embrace my community like my community embraced me.

BBBS Match: Little Madison & Big Becky at a Texas Rangers Game
In college I always made the excuse that I didn’t have the time or energy to give back. I was a design student. No one understood how hard I worked and exhausted I was (this is what I told myself). I managed to make time for parties and dates but not so much for service.

Investing in the not-me-world seemed more distant than Narnia, but less distant than impossible. The only way I knew it was possible was because other people already found the balance. How did they have time to make care packages for troops overseas? How did these people with kids and jobs and strange cooking behaviors have time to serve breakfast to their brothers at the soup kitchen? They obviously had a lot of time on their hands.

Waco is chock full of selfless people and wonderful organizations: Jesus Said Love, Mission Waco, Waco Arts Initiative, etc. I didn’t know where to start. I already felt overwhelmed with my own life in transition. I wanted to pick the perfect cause; something that wouldn’t allow me to fail. Perfectionism crippled me from moving in any direction. Eventually I realized that if I didn’t have time to give back, then no one had the time. I was single and fresh out of college. If I waited to find the perfect gig, I would never start.
It has been a little over a year since Madison and I have been matched with Big Brothers Big Sister. She is a bright 11-year-old who loves animals, running and Justin Bieber. I love crafts, lounging and talk radio. We work well together. When I hang out with Madison, I get to play. We go to the zoo and eat ice cream. I get paint and cookie dough on my shirt when she gets paint and cookie dough on her shirt (I fail as adult). We hang out for a couple of hours every weekend that I’m in town. Only four hours are required each month, but it is easy to make time. Sometimes I have no idea what I’m doing. I get lazy and selfish. I am surprised by how little I know about fourth grade. I was just there fourteen years ago.

When my friend Cory takes time to hear my woes on our periodic phone dates, it means the world to me. She continually pours into me and invests like I’m the only person who matters. If Cory’s time means this much to me at age 24, I can’t imagine what that is like for an impressionable child.
The hardest part about Big Brothers Big Sisters was starting. Not every organization is right for everybody at every time. I encourage everyone to do something. Just say yes and figure it out later. 2011 went by faster than cookies in the work break room. It could have come and gone without looking much different.

Don’t let indecisiveness cripple you into doing nothing. My friendship with Madison is so rich, but I wouldn’t have known what I was missing out on if I never dove in.

*Written by Becky Murphy, and originally published on Hole in the Roof Marketing’s blog

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

New Faces: Summer Aletky

Born and raised in Texas, Summer Aletky is a true “Austin-ite”.  Having lived there since she was sixteen, she was engrossed by the culture and thrived in a career as a restaurant manager.  In 2008 she moved to Waco and enrolled in the social work undergraduate program at McLennan Community College.

Before joining the Big Brothers Big Sisters team, she served as Director of Transitional Living for Women at The Freeman Center, a program which she built from the ground-up.  Ever the busy-bee, Summer loves to volunteer her time and energy to support important causes in our community.  She has been on the club team and served as volunteer staff member for Jesus Said Love.  She also served for a year and a half on the Board of Directors for The Freeman Center before taking on the role of director.

She has a loving husband who works for a hospice supply company and loves to cycle. She is also the mother of a teenage son who loves to disc golf, so keep her in your prayers!

Summer says that Waco has been a wonderful place to explore faith and grow in this community. She is grateful and humbled to be working alongside some of this cities brightest women and reputable organizations.

Monday, June 11, 2012

We Need Your Help!

Waco needs positive change. Every day in our community, children are giving up on their dreams because they do not have someone to turn to. Often, these children’s dreams are smaller than their capabilities, simply because no one has opened the doors of experience for them.

Mentoring changes that. Our Bigs are helping kids in Waco today make positive choices; to stay in school, to set goals, to try something new. We need your support to make this happen

Our goal this year is to change the lives of the 85 currently waiting Little Brothers and Sisters. They need their Bigs to step up TODAY. We need individuals like you, with a big heart to support positive change in Waco. Right now, your donation can make a BIG difference. Thanks to a matching grant from the Waco Foundation, your donation will be doubled if your gift is made by June 30th!

Average annual direct costs for making and supporting a new match is $1,000 and is generally broken down as follows:

o    $250 in recruitment costs (finding great volunteers for our Littles)
o   $250 in processing, training and matching (collecting volunteer and child information, screening, interviewing, background checks, selecting Big/Little match, new match training, personalized/professional introduction of Big/Little)
o    $500 in year-long support, activities and continued training.

The $1,000 does not include administrative overhead or fund raising expenses; solely those expenses directly related to making and sustaining safe, successful, life-changing matches. Now is the time to make the biggest impact possible through your donation.

Help us bring positive changes to Waco. Our Littles are waiting; it’s your turn to Start Something. Please give generously as your impact will be doubled! Please visit our website to donate today!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Take Us Out To The Ball Game!

What better way to spend a summer evening than at a Texas Rangers baseball game!  Thanks to 1660 ESPN Radio and Fox Sports Southwest, that’s exactly how we spent May 27th. These two organizations generously donated a charter bus and 50 tickets to our matches, wait list families, and staff.  A BIG thanks to everyone who made this trip possible!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Come Bowl With Us!

Bowl for Kids' Sake is a truly fun and special way to support Big Brothers Big Sisters and our work in Waco. We currently have sponsorship and team opportunities available!

What is Bowl for Kids’ Sake?
Bowl For Kids’ Sake is Big Brothers Big Sisters’ signature fundraiser. Each year half a million people across America come together to have fun and raise money to support Big Brothers Big Sisters as we change how children grow up! Bowl For Kids’ Sake is the perfect way for individuals to make an impact on our community - it only takes a little bit of effort to raise the money that is vital to our program’s success.

As a “thank you” for your support and enthusiasm, Big Brothers Big Sisters hosts a celebratory party at AMF Westview Lanes bowling center. No bowling expertise is required, only the willingness to share in our heartfelt and sincere thanks for helping us transform our community. Our event will be hosted on Saturday, February 25th from 3:00 to 8:00 PM at AMF Westview Bowling Lanes (West Waco Drive).

Where does the money go?
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.

Your role in this effort to help local children cannot be over stated: We need your help to raise community awareness of the challenges faced by children in Waco, and to ask for the financial support need to help change the trajectory of a child’s life.

How can I get involved?
Step 1: Register your team! It’s easy to do online – just visit the website and sign up!

Step 2: Set a team fundraising goal- AIM HIGH! We suggest a minimum of $100/team member, but some of our top teams raise $2,500! To add some perspective, to reach the $100 individual goal you could ask 10 friends for just $10.00 each.

Step 3: Recruit 4 people to join your team. It could be friends, family, or co-workers. You’ve set an ambitious goal, so choose people who will help you exceed it!!

Step 4: Motivate your team to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring in Waco!
·         Share information about the impact of Big Brothers Big Sisters on our community
·         Keep your team informed about incentive prizes, rules, games, contests, etc.
·         Communicate their success (Katie just got a $50 donation! Joe has already exceeded his goal of $200! Our team just surpassed the $1,000 mark!)

Step 5: Have Fun! Join us at AMF Westview Lanes to celebrate your team’s success! Remember, it’s not about how good a bowler you are, it’s celebrating the impact the money your team collected will have on our community!

Step 6: Say THANK YOU! Thank your team members for their time and commitment to participate! Don’t forget to say thank you to the people who donated to you! Call or e-mail them after the event to let them know how much money your team raised and thank them for supporting Waco children!

Please consider helping us spread the word throughout Waco about the importance of mentoring.  If this sounds like an opportunity you would be interested in participating in, please let us know.  We would love for you to join us!

Contact Lucy Devens, or 254.776.2824.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Big Picture Luncheon Recap

A BIG thanks to everyone who attended our Big Picture Luncheon on November 29th.  It was wonderful to see such strong support from our community, and to know we are all working together to improve the lives of children in Waco, one mentor at time.

Thank you to everyone who was able to join us last week!


Thank you Jason Rey, COO, for sharing your Big Brothers Big Sisters story.

A special thanks to Candie for sharing her daughter Madison's story.

Becky, Madison's Big Sister, shared her experiences in the program and the impact
Madison has had on her life.

 A special thanks to Carino's Italian for generously donating 
a delicious meal for our attendees!