Framingham, MA (January 15, 2020)— Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass and Metrowest, a nationally recognized and award winning affiliate for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America network, is pleased to announce as part of National Mentoring Month [#NationalMentoringMonth] the launch of Bigs in Blue in the MetroWest area, a program aimed at recruiting local law enforcement to serve as mentors to youth in the local community they serve. The program, which is part of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s national initiative, has started in Framingham, MA in December thanks to a partnership with Framingham Police Department.
“I see the impact that a police/youth mentorship program has on the Framingham Police Officers and the children of our City,” said Mayor Yvonne M. Spicer. “The ‘Bigs in Blue’ program is one that helps build the confidence of children and a stronger Framingham, and I am so proud of our Bigs and Littles.”
“We know one-to-one mentoring helps children reach their potential, and we believe it can play a role in building understanding and bridging divides in our community,” said CEO Jeffrey Chin, BBBS of Central Mass & Metrowest. “Fortunately, we have found wonderfully authentic, compassionate leaders within the law enforcement community willing to champion this important cause. Mentoring only works when there are reliable, positive, and effective volunteers willing to give their time and talents.”
Bigs in Blue is the first national campaign of its kind, supplementing the efforts of law enforcement officers mentoring youth in communities across the country. With more than 250 affiliates nationwide, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is actively fundraising in hopes of bringing the initiative to as many communities as possible.
The Bigs in Blue police officers will be having a special lunch with their Little Brothers and Little Sisters on January 22nd at 11:30am at McCarthy Elementary School. This will be one of the first times the Littles will see their officers in uniform. They will eat a special lunch and the Littles will show their mentors around their school. The lunch event will go from 11:30am to 12:30pm and we invite media to attend for photo opportunities.
“Bigs in Blue has been a great opportunity to build relationships with, Officers and the youth of our City. The impact of this program is not one sided.” said Deputy Chief Lester Baker of the Framingham Police Department. “Officers in this program, volunteered so they could make a positive impact and on their little. The little’s are making the same impact on us! We look forward to expanding on this program, and our partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters.”
Funds raised for the program go toward volunteer recruitment efforts, training, and the process of matching Littles with the Big mentors. Law enforcement officials who volunteer to serve as a Big Brother or Sister will be vetted, trained, matched and monitored just as any other mentor in the network.
With grant funding from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and in collaboration with community officials and law enforcement, Bigs in Blue programs have already been implemented in cities across the United States, including Austin; Baltimore; Chicago; Dallas; Houston; Los Angeles; Louisville; Miami; New York City; Omaha; Orlando; Philadelphia; St. Louis; Tampa; Roanoke, Virginia; and Columbia, South Carolina.