Originally Published in Colchester Weekly

December 7, 2017

Local Organization Grateful for Volunteers

Firstly, I would like to introduce myself.  My name is Anna Rutherford and I have recently joined the team at Big Brothers Big Sisters as their Community Relations Coordinator. I am thrilled to be a part of an organization that has helped thousands of local youth over the past 40 years reach their potential.

I will be coming to you bi-weekly, sharing our stories, celebrating our community successes, and updating residents on ways they can be involved. 2018 marks the agencies 40th anniversary, and we want to include you, the community in that celebration. I hope that this news column helps you all feel connected and that you can be a part of the celebration as well. Stay tuned for details.

Many residents of Colchester either participate in or are at least familiar with our Big Bucks and Traveloto fundraisers. These fundraisers have grown over the years and have allowed us to give back to the community in ways we never thought possible. Over the past several  years the agency has sponsored many projects including the Truro Skate Park, the new library, several United Way community initiatives, the Christmas Index program and Maggie’s Place to name just a few. We are very grateful for the community’s support in these fundraisers, and feel that you’ve all become woven into our fabric here at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colchester.

The thread that holds the fabric together is the volunteers. We are thankful to those who volunteer their time to take action for a child and youth in need. While we are pleased to provide mentoring programs to over 300 youth annually, our challenge continues to be recruiting enough volunteers to serve the many children who are waiting for a volunteer.

There are so many benefits to volunteering. Studies have shown that not only does volunteering help people feel more socially connected by warding off loneliness and depression but a growing body of evidence also suggests that volunteering can improve your physical health. And to top that off, volunteering simply makes you happier. When the London School of Economics examined the relationship between volunteering and measures of happiness they found the more people volunteered the happier they were. Believe me when I say we see a lot of smiling faces here at Big Brothers Big Sisters and some of the biggest ones are from the Bigs. I think the quote goes something like, “while we try and teach children all about life, children teach us what life is all about.” This couldn’t ring more true with what we see here with our matches at BBBS. When a mentor decides to make a difference in a child’s life, they become the difference in our community, and isn’t that what it’s all about. We encourage any of our Colchester residents who have been thinking about becoming a mentor to contact us now. We have so many wonderful children who are ready to be the difference in your life.

From all us here at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colchester, thank you to our community volunteers, partners and champions who make Colchester a great place to live, work and play.