Big Brothers & Big Sisters – Born in NYC

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The Power to Change Lives

Once again, we were fortunate enough to find some time during our busy NY schedule to visit the BBBS of NYC. Kristin and the BBBS team had been very cooperative with us since the beginning. We were really looking forward to meeting them at their office. And it was a really good thing we saw their office!

Instantly, we noticed that they have the only BBBS office that is held in its own office building. This is because the office building, which is in Manhattan where real estate is tough to come by or much less own, was donated long ago to the BBBS of NYC. That’s awesome. So they take full advantage of the space and utilize the vertical design of Manhattan buildings. Offices on every floor, group meeting room on the 1st floor and patios to hold Match meetings and to take a break during the day and enjoy some fresh NYC sounds. 

In the group meeting room, Bigs and Littles painted this mural to create a more friendly and lively atmosphere in the building. We think it did an EXCELLENT job!

Painted over items, people, places and things that remind Bigs and Littles of what it means to live in New York, we were really amazed at the talent they showed. Thanks for showing us!

This Big Brothers and Big Sisters was actually the founding member of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America! Storied territory! It was more than a century ago, December 3, 1904 to be exact, that a boy’s life hung in the balance. It was then, that Ernest Coulter made his famous plea:

There is only one possible way to save that youngster, and that is to have some earnest, true man volunteer to be his big brother. To look after him, to help him do right, to make the little chap feel that there is at least one human being in this great city who takes a personal interest in him, who cares whether he lives or dies. I call for a volunteer.

After the first man came forward to volunteer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America was founded! That first day, 39 volunteers came forward to be a Big Brother to a child in need in NYC. Ernest had something here. Eight years later (1912), Big Brothers and Big Sisters was officially formed. 

Now, exactly one hundred years later,

BBBS of NYC remains committed to expanding services, developing ideas, and making history, until every boy and girl who needs a mentor has a Big of his or her own, and every caring, responsible adult can enjoy the opportunity to “Just be a Brother and a companion… give him his individual chance to be honest, and to grow up into a useful citizen.” At BBBS of NYC, we cherish innovation, but we stay true to Ernest Coulter’s vision in everything we do.

What a billing! We were ecstatic to be able to work with the BBBS of NYC to put on an event for kids and volunteers involved with their agency. This was one to be remembered for all!

We had heard that Randall’s Island was a great place for baseball. When we first drove onto the island, we instantly saw why. There were over 100 baseball fields! Perfect!

We set up and did the introductions of Biking for Baseball and Bigs/Littles before we got started. With a shade under 10 matches, we had a great number of kids and volunteers for the day’s events. A great fall afternoon and baseball. How could we go wrong?!

The cool thing about having an event in New York, is that the people of New York support two different MLB teams – the Yankees and the Mets. As we met our ball players for the day, we heard many “Go M-y-ets” and “Yankees Rule” declarations when we asked who was their favorite. Love the passion of baseball fans out east!

Again, for the umpteenth time, we had ALL first-time ball players. And again, for the umpteenth time, this is our favorite part about putting on these clinics. We have SUCH a great time teaching the kids about base running and how to avoid the tag in the Pickle Drill; hitting and keeping your eye on the ball in Home Run Derby; and catching the ball with two hands and watching it into your glove via the ESPN Highlight reel catches.

By continuing to focus on the fun and fast-paced events that can occur during a single game in baseball, these kids are instantly intrigued and invested in learning more. We hope that after they remember the fun they had with us out on the diamond, that they will want to continue to play for the rest of their lives. Baseball is such a great connector between all generations!

Once these kids learn about the game, we put em to the test right away. No messin’ around! Let’s get to it! 

It’s pretty easy to get them excited about playing a real game though. They come up to us with a million-dollar smile asking,

Are we going to play baseball today?

Why… yes! We are! Hi5!

Our 29th game of the summer pitted The Bat People vs. the Bacon Egg and Cheese-inators. The names just get more and more creative every week!

After an hour of full-on, battle royale style baseball, our fun had to end at some point.

We lined up to shake hands and congratulate each other on a good game, group together for our team pick and high-five before we parted ways.

Thank you everyone (Susan, Norah and Adam helped volunteer at the event) that helped make our clinic in NYC a raging success! Hopefully we can come back again next year!

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