Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nodaway County has a history of bringing people together by providing mentors for children in their service area. With a recent shortage of “bigs” and funds to support the program, the organization is launching a recruiting campaign to bring more mentors and additional money into the organization.

Lynette Harbin, the organization’s executive director, said BBBS of Nodaway County has planned opportunities for people of all ages to get more involved and serve. In April, the program is partnering with BBBS of Kansas City to celebrate the new Big Draft Class by having a grand prize drawing.

The prize of the drawing is a Kansas City Chiefs season tickets package for two in the lower level at the 50-yard line in Arrowhead Stadium. 

There are two ways people can be entered into the prize drawing: becoming a big or helping draft a big into the organization. Anyone who attends an information session before the end of April 2021 will get a T-Shirt and an entry into the drawing. Similarly, anyone who drafts a friend to become a big that attends an information session will also be entered in the contest.

Harbin said BBBS of Nodaway County has always seen a large amount of support from the local community and is looking forward to the events planned this spring.

“There are a lot of people in this community that believe in the kids as much as we do,” Harbin said. “We need them to help us financially support those relationships, and we’re always blessed by the outpouring of care we receive. We have an amazing community.”

One way the community can show their support is through the 30 Donors 30 Days initiative, where BBBS of Nodaway County is trying to find 30 people to make either a one-time donation or sign up for monthly matchmakers. 

“Even $10 a month can make a huge impact on our program,” Harbin said. 

BBBS of Nodaway County has scheduled its largest annual fundraiser called “Bowl for Kids’ Sake” for April 16 at Bearcat Lanes. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on Nodaway County, this event was canceled last year and left a void in the nonprofit's budget. 

This year, the organization is taking extra steps to ensure funds are coming into the program without relying too heavily on Bowl for Kids’ Sake.

“Bowl for Kids’ Sake has always been a great fundraiser for us, but I realized that we focus too much on the bowling and not enough time on the fundraising,” Harbin said. “The annual fundraising event was created years ago and is a tradition Nodaway County residents look forward to every year.”

Northwest senior Amberlea Auffert has been a big in BBBS Nodaway since September 2020. She said the program has been a rewarding experience.

“My favorite thing about being a big is doing things with my little that she has never done before,” Auffert said. “It’s so fun to be a part of her life and be that person for her to talk to and be her outlet.”

Auffert is involved on campus, being a member of Phi Mu and serving on the Northwest Homecoming Executive Board as the public relations and communications chair. Even with her other commitments, BBBS is something Auffert always looks forward to.

“To anyone interested in BBBS — do it,” Auffert said. “Even if you don’t feel like you are going to make that much of an impact, you really are. These kids look forward to hanging out with you and love to have another person to look up to.”

People can request information about becoming a big and spring events scheduled by BBBS Nodaway by emailing info@BBBSNodaway.org or by visiting the organization’s website https://www.bbbsnodaway.org/.

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