Posted by Timothy FitzGerald on Jul 22, 2019
Melisa Pollard is the Executive Director in our area. Melissa was inspired by an article of a mother whose three daughters grew to become a Physician of Pediatrics at San Jose, a CEO at 23andMe, and a CEO at You Tube.
Quite a success story! As a parent, how did she engender such success?
  1. Teach kids to care!
  2. The importance of community!
  3. The American ideal is all wrong (chasing personal wealth ...)!
  4. Prioritize service and purpose!
So given these elements "Be The Change You Want To See" (in the world). Be a mentor!
 
Most of us remember a person in our lives who was there when we needed it most. Who listened to us. Who gave us the inner well being and peace to keep moving forward.
 
But what would could have happened if you had no siblings/neighbours/parent who would listen to you or had time to do so? Could this  compound into loneliness, anxiety or lack of purpose? The future social outcomes would probably be quite different simply because there was no such person at hand.
 
Big Brothers Big Sisters is an agency that recruits volunteers to act as that mentoring person (since 1904). Not onerous, perhaps just two hours a week, to be with the little brother/sister and listen to them.
 
Melissa is vivacious and inspirational. She mentored a little brother, age 8, along with her fiance. The "little brother" attended her wedding ten years later. Another slide in her presentation showed a man, age 70, who was a "little brother" who kept in touch with his big brother the rest of his life.
 
The Grand Erie chapter is a lean organization. 6 paid staff members, 130 volunteers and 313 little brothers/sisters. But there are still 200 more little brothers/sisters on a waiting list.
 
While the agency relies upon volunteers, as lean as it is, it takes $1,200 in costs to sponsor a child for a year. The Rotary Club of Simcoe is proud to do so. Rotarian Capt. (Salvation Army) Rick Honcharsky (Community Service) thanked Christine (staff and volunteers) for their good work and sponsored a little brother/sister for a year with our cheque of $1,200.
 
Melissa has 15 years of private sector experience in start ups and large corporations. Effective at organization, agile innovation, there are plans to rebrand BigBrothers BigSisters and colours in its logo. Watch for this in September. Plans mission/values are being examined to ensure they are reaching our to each of the diverse communities of the Grand Erie District (Norfolk/Haldimand/Brant inclusive of Six Nations).