(Salisbury, Md.) – On Thursday, January 10, 2019, the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce had its monthly Business After Hours hosted by the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Eastern Shore. Started in 1958, BBBSES is a nationwide nonprofit organization who’s goal is to encourage community-based mentoring. The organization hosts thousands of “bigs” 18 years old and up paired with “littles” from the ages of six to 16 years old to create a lasting relationship and bond between the two parties involved.
The Business After Hours convened roughly 50 local business members and government officials including the City of Salisbury Mayor, Jacob Day. Mayor Day came to offer his sincere the positive influence BBBSES has on the young people of Wicomico County and congratulations on their growth as an organization. The crowd drew near and anxious for the “big news” that he was scheduled to share at the event.
“The young people in our community are important to our community’s health, vibrancy, and to ensuring that those young people chose to live here, to stay here, to serve here, to give back here, to bring their children here,” Day said.
He went on to read a proclamation from his office declaring that January is to be seen as National Mentoring Month. He stressed the importance of mentoring and relationships in the community – as they set a precedent and foundation for the growth and community bond in the Salisbury area.
“National Mentoring Month provides an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the efforts of all mentors and mentoring programs, to raise community awareness of the importance of mentoring and to encourage mentoring in communities across the country. Mentors fill critical needs in our communities every day as role models to our youth and their faithful presence can make a tremendous difference in the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual development of their mentees.”
After reading the proclamation and congratulating Jessica Mimms, Executive Director of BBBSES, he went on to share the news for which everyone was waiting.
Speaking for himself, the council, and the 435 city employees in Salisbury, Day explained, “We feel an ethic and a responsibility to participate in helping to raise our young people and contribute to a positive influence in their lives. And so yesterday, at our all staff meeting, we decided that every city employee can take paid time – one hour every other week – to be in the schools to do school based mentoring through Big Brothers Big Sisters.”
Pleased with Day’s announcement, the crowd erupted in applause. The evening continued with members networking and receiving more information on how to contribute and be more involved with BBBSES.
BBBSES also announced their rebranding journey and why they chose to update their logo and mission.
“This logo is completely different than what we’ve done historically with the purples. We, as an organization, did a lot of soul searching and researching on how people perceived us and one of the things that frequently came up is that people think we work with very young children – they didn’t realize we work with children six to 16 and it was seen primarily as an organization for women to get involved,” BBBs Outreach Specialist, Robert McClure, said.
The need to rebrand themselves and optimize new creativity within the organization created a new logo with a very detailed meaning and message.
“The uppercase represents the mentor, or “Big”, in the relationship. The lowercase represents the child, or “Little”, who is mentored. The three lines indicate the three parties required for a mentoring partnership – the Big and Little and the child’s family. The colors – black, white and electric green, drawing attention to the vibrancy in the program but also the need for male mentors,” McClure said.
Food was catered by Mojo’s and Market Street Inn along with libations provided by EVO and Eastern Shore Distributing.
For more information on Business After Hours contact Cathy Diekmann, Director of Membership Services at the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce or call 410-749-0144. For more information on Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Eastern Shore visit their website at http://shorebiglittle.org/ or contact the staff at 410-543-2447.