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Making a positive difference in the lives of children.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the National Capital Area

Children in this program are 85% less likely to have contact with juvenile courts, 70% less likely than their peers to initiate drug usage and 64% more likely to achieve higher grades. Giant Food has donated more than $1,300 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the National Capital Area through its Community Bag Program.

Tell us about Big Brothers Big Sisters of the National Capital Area.

Since 1949, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the National Capital Area (BBBSNCA) has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. As the Washington region’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, BBBSNCA makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 7 – 18 years old, in communities across the National Capital Area. We develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people.

Big Brothers Big Sisters has a stellar record in helping children on a daily basis make healthy choices to stay in school, stay out of trouble and on track toward healthy and productive futures.

Big Brothers Big Sisters has a stellar record in helping children on a daily basis make healthy choices to stay in school, stay out of trouble and on track toward healthy and productive futures.

What sets your organization apart from others in your community?

The focus on long-term, one-to-one mentoring is the difference. We really do invest and value the creation, fostering, and continuing of a relationship that begins to feel more like family. These types of relationships change the life of the mentor and the mentee for the better the longer they last.

Tell us a story that illustrates the good work you are doing.

We recently teamed up with the NFL Retired Players Association and had them host a football clinic at an Inner-City DC High School (McKinley Tech). We coupled that with a back-to-school bookbag drive for the Littles who attended with their Bigs. We then also had all the cheerleaders, band members, and spirit teams participate throughout the event, thus creating a pep rally vibe while also having great in-person interactions and experiences.

What is your greatest achievement or contribution to the community?

To keep it current, I would have to say the event above (note: this interview was conducted in January 2022). The reason why is because we really wanted to focus on this specific DC neighborhood (Ward 8) that has been crime stricken and hit hard by the pandemic. We focused on using local companies and businesses for our food and beverage as well as involving school leaders to have a say in how the event could be even better and their suggestions were a large part of its success. So, you left knowing it touched people on many levels.

What are the most important things you want people to know about Big Brothers Big Sisters of the National Capital Area?

Our focus on safety, taking the time to create the proper matches and changing lives of the DC/MD/VA youth with every decision we make.

The focus on long-term, one-to-one mentoring is the difference.

How did you hear about the Giant Food Bloomin’ 4 Good, Community Bag and Giving Tag programs?

Giant is a special donor of ours and they help us in many ways with community events and initiatives. Through this relationship, this campaign came up and interested me; I pursued it further and it’s been a success for us.

We love the community feel of this program and the fact that it allows people to notice BBBSNCA in association with a reusable bag and then maybe pursue it further. We also like the fact that we are part of reusable products and helping eliminate unnecessary waste of plastic and paper bags while also raising some funds that will help us be a better organization.

How are you using the funds you’ve received from these programs?

We are applying the funds to a new and easier fingerprinting process that will be able to allow us to screen and certify potential Bigs more quickly and get them into our system and then to the next step in the matching process.

Tony Duffy, Director, Development & Events, emphasizes that the focus on long-term, one-on-one mentoring makes the difference in creating a direct and lasting impact on youth in the National Capital area.