Big Brothers Big Sisters helps local at risk youth

·1 min read

HURON-KINLOSS – Yolanda Ritsema of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kincardine and District addressed Huron-Kinloss council recently about the program.

COVID-19 has taken a toll, making regular meetings between Bigs and Littles difficult. The pandemic has meant many of the group programs are being offered virtually.

However, the program continues to thrive, and with it, the young people it helps.

Right now, there are 50 young people served by the organization’s mentoring programs, and 22 youth on the waiting list.

Big Brothers Big Sisters has been part of the local community for over 35 years. It’s had a proven positive impact on the lives of many at risk youth. Ritsema noted for every dollar invested in Big Brothers Big Sisters programs, $18 goes back into the community.

Ritsema said the pandemic has meant the cancellation of many fundraisers. However, the two golf tournaments were quite successful.

Ritsema thanked council for the community well being program grant (of $1,000, used to send 10 Huron-Kinloss children to Camp Kintail).

Coun. Lillian Abbot asked if the program helped youth in Lucknow.

Ritsema said, yes, at least those on the outskirts. The remainder is part of Huron County. Unfortunately, the Goderich program, in Ritsema’s words, “did not survive the pandemic.”

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times