Greenville, SC (May 24, 2022) — Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Upstate announced today its aim to transform mentorship in local communities with an unprecedented gift of $500,000. The gift, from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, will help BBBS Upstate to ensure young people have access to powerful mentoring experiences. In Greenville and Spartanburg counties alone, there are more than 60 children, known as “Littles,” waiting to be matched with mentors, known as “Bigs.” This gift will help recruit more volunteers, match more Littles with a Big, and provide more bonding experiences for matches.

Today, nearly 11 million kids live in poverty and more than 13 million young people experience emotional, behavioral, or developmental conditions like depression. And during the height of the pandemic, 20 percent of youth served by Big Brothers Big Sisters nationally lost contact with an important adult in their lives.

This unprecedented investment is the largest donation from a single individual in the organization’s history and serves as a powerful message in recognizing the importance of investing in mentorship to build and strengthen communities and society.

“We offer our heartfelt gratitude to MacKenzie Scott for her visionary gift and leadership,” said Charlene Cheeks, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Upstate. “This historic donation will create new opportunities to transform children’s lives across the country, including here in the Upstate. With MacKenzie’s support, we are better equipped to provide mentoring experiences that enrich lives and help young people reach their full potential.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Upstate believes no one person, organization or gift alone can drive the significant impact mentorship can have on a young person’s life. It takes a village of mentors, volunteers, and donors to positively impact young people’s lives. This investment in Big Brothers Bigs Sisters of the Upstate and its community is an invitation for more people and partners to join in transforming mentorship for young people today and for generations to come.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is the oldest, largest, and most effective youth mentoring organization in America. BBBS Upstate creates and supports meaningful one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and potential of youth. Little Brothers and Little Sisters are 52% less likely to skip school, 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs, and 27% less likely to begin using alcohol.

It only takes six hours a month for one year to have a positive impact on a child. Click here to become a Big Brother or Big Sister in the Upstate:

You may also call us in Greenville (864) 242-0676 and Spartanburg (864) 542-9328.

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