This year, the Amelia Peabody Foundation, which has been providing our agency funding for the College Mentor Program for 10 years, challenged us and our former Bigs with a matching gift, coined "The BIG Match Challenge." The Foundation declared that if we could raise $20,000 in new donations this year to support our College Mentor Program at Great Brooke Valley in Worcester, MA, they would give us an additional $20,000. On December 1st, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass./ Metrowest proudly announced that we were able to raise the money and will be awarded an additional $20,000 in matching funds.
Raising $20,000 is no easy task. The "BIG Match Challenge" was particularly challenging as the timeframe for the fundraising effort largely overlapped with our largest annual fundraiser, the Rodman Ride for Kids. Another significant challenge was that one of the requirements set by the Amelia Peabody Foundation was that the money had to be raised with new donations. It was through a coordinated effort by staff and alumni from our college programs that we were able to raise the money needed to secure the matching gift. According to BBBS CM/MW CEO, Jeffrey Chin, "we needed to attract new donations, so we thought about reaching out to the alumni Bigs who served at the Great Brook Valley site-based program in years past to see if they would be willing to help fund raise for it. We created a crowdfunding site specifically for this purpose, and attracted donations from alumni from all years and from different parts of the country! We also had a new donor who was a Big here in Worcester in our Worcester Area College Mentors Program years ago, and his large donation plus some matching gifts for his contribution helped us reach our goal."
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass./ Metrowest is very grateful to the Amelia Peabody Foundation for offering the opportunity to receive these matching funds. The "BIG Match Challenge" not only helped us raise $40,000 in total for the Great Brook Valley site-based program, it also helped us reconnect with and engage with mentors who served in the program as Bigs throughout the years. According to Chin, "since the Amelia Peabody Foundation provides grant funding to support our site-based program at Great Brook Valley, we will use these matching funds and new donations to help create new matches there, and enhance support for existing matches." Our sincerest thank you goes to the Amelia Peabody Foundation for their continued support of our programs!