Big Brothers Big Sisters makes BIG move for the future
Potential Will Thrive At New Mentoring Center
Big Brothers Big Sisters opened its new mentoring center in October 2022. This project was the culmination of over 2 years of work by the board of directors, staff and community stakeholders to position the organization for long term impact. The new facility provides the operational capacity to support the continued growth of the one-to-one mentoring program. In addition, the organization leveraged the asset of the previous facility to create a new Youth Mentoring Foundation, which will provide long-term financial support for the program.
"We knew the previous facility did not meet the long term needs of the organization," stated Travis Guy, Board Chairperson, "but to make it operationally and financially feasible for us to look at a new facility, a number of things needed to fall into place, and fortunately they did."
Big Brothers Big Sisters owned their previous mentoring center at 130 W. 5th Street. The organization committed to a process that insured certain milestones were met in order to proceed to the new facility. Those were:
1) securing a solid purchase offer for the existing facility,
2) finding a new facility that met the capacity and financial expectations of the organization,
3) ensure that 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the 130 location is used to establish a foundation for long term investment,
4) secure community support to ensure the new facility had the elements important to provide a high quality and impact program.
Mel Foster Co. leads the way
The new facility was donated by Mel Foster Co. The donation ensures that the organization maintains similar operational costs as the previous facility. "Big Brothers Big Sisters is a perfect fit for our campus and matches our corporate values of helping our community thrives," commented Lynsey Engels, President of Mel Foster Co. and Executive Committee member of the BBBS Board. "We are honored to partner with this important organization to serve children and families in our community. "
Long time donor provides lead gift
The new facility needed significant upgrades to meet the programmatic standard of the organization. John and Bonnie Leinart led the way by committing $100,000 to the project. John served as a Big Brothers, Board Chairperson, and Director for more than 20 years. Bonnie was also a Big Sister and a director with the organization. "Bonnie and I can think of no more significant investment than in a child's future" stated Leianrt at the grand opening ceremony, "In my opinion, Big Brothers Big Sisters is a powerful program that can makes transformational change in the lives of children in our community. We want to make sure children have this resource for many years to come."
Community comes together to make project possible
The new Mentoring Center buildout was chaired by Jim Kiesey, Board Director and Operations Director at Estes Construction. " We have a very giving building industry in the Quad Cities and this was a great project to bring the talents in the community together for a great cause" stated Kiesey. "Many don't realize all the pieces that go into a redesign, demo and buildout of a new space. We were very fortunate to pull together a great team that consisted of contractors, architects, subcontractors, vendors and others to make this project a success."
The new space provides ample space for the organization to conduct operations and plenty of room to grow in the future. Major amenities of the new space include:
1) Two restrooms,
2) Three volunteer/parent/child interview rooms,
3) Large community room,
4) Match introduction and resource room,
6) Outdoor meeting space,
7) Loading dock,
8) Storage room,
9) Staff offices,
10) Record storage room,
11) IT room,
12) Gathering and future expansion space,
13) 60+ space parking lot.
14) Branded space, signage and trailer wrap