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Indianapolis Indians, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indiana Sports Corp, & Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana Partner to Recruit 300 Men in 3 Months

(Indianapolis, IN) – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana (BBBSCI), in partnership with the Indianapolis Indians, Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), and Indiana Sports Corp, officially announced today a community campaign to “Rally for MENtors” with a goal of recruiting 300 men to volunteer as mentors over the next three months.

BBBSCI will launch its “Rally for MENtors: 300 Men in 3 Months” campaign on April 1, 2024, which shares the urgency and demand for more mentors, especially men, needed in our community. With more than 1,000 kids, including 800 boys, in Central Indiana waiting for mentors, BBBSCI, Indianapolis Indians, IMS, and Indiana Sports Corp are working together to recruit 300 men to become Bigs between April 1, 2024, through June 30, 2024. Each month will feature one of our partners – asking community members to “Step Up to the Plate” with the Indianapolis Indians in April, “Fuel Up Futures” with the IMS in May, and “Stretch for the Finish” with Indiana Sports Corp during the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming in June.

“The Indianapolis Indians has been honored to work alongside BBBSCI for well over a decade to encourage and recruit more men to become mentors for kids in our community,” stated Joel Zawacki, Assistant General Manager of the Indianapolis Indians. “To know that 800 boys are waiting for a mentor of their own reinforces our drive to do our part in Central Indiana.”

“IMS is excited to partner, once again, with BBBSCI to find more mentors to pair with the hundreds of kids, especially boys, waiting for a Big,” said Penske Entertainment Senior Vice President, Allison Melangton. “Through our continued partnership, we hope see that waiting list get down to zero soon.”

“For 45 years, Indiana Sports Corp embraced the challenge of bringing and hosting the best sporting events to Indianapolis each year, and now, we’re gearing up to embark on yet another challenge to our entire community – helping to make sure that every kid who wants a mentor gets one,” said Indiana Sports Corp President Patrick Talty. “Through this campaign and many future events, we are looking forward to partnering with BBBSCI to elevate the need and encourage more people to get involved with their community.”

“Being a mentor is all about spending just a little bit of time to be there for a young person and to connect them to experiences that help them explore and grow. The truth is mentoring happens in everyday moments, but it can also include some special memories like watching a baseball game together at Victory Field, joining in the tradition and thrill of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, or cheering for athletes competing to make the 2024 Olympic team,” says Darcey Palmer-Shultz, CEO of BBBSCI. “We don’t take it lightly that when we called for help, the Indians, IMS, and Indiana Sports Corp immediately stepped up to answer that call. We have too many kids in our community waiting for support, especially too many boys, and as always, we are grateful to have partners who rally together to make a difference.”

Being a mentor, or “Big,” through BBBSCI requires a one-year commitment to be matched with a mentee, or “Little.” Bigs and Littles meet 4-6 hours per month, and together, they enjoy activities provided by BBBSCI and their partners or find activities within their community. To learn more about becoming a Big, visit www.bebigforkids.org/volunteer.

To learn more about BBBSCI and the Rally for MENtors: 300 Men in 3 Months campaign, visit https://www.bebigforkids.org/rally-for-mentors-300-men-in-3-months/.

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About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana is based in Indianapolis and serves youth and families who reside in Marion, Hamilton, and Johnson counties through one-to-one mentoring relationships with adult volunteers. The Big Brothers Big Sisters vision is that all youth achieve their full potential. To fulfill that vision, the mission of BBBSCI is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. This year, BBBSCI will defend the potential of local youth through 1,100+ mentoring relationships. To volunteer, donate, or for more information, visit www.BeBigForKids.org or call (317) 921-2201.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana (BBBSCI) hosted its annual event, The Biggest Social, on Tuesday, January 30, 2024, at The Club at Crosspoint. BBBSCI invited community members interested in getting involved with the program to attend. At the event, BBBSCI honored the second class of Changemaker Award winners, recognized the 2024 Matches of the Year, and celebrated National Mentoring Month alongside the agency’s volunteers and supporters. 

The Changemaker Awards began in 2023 and honor three corporations or organizations that have gone above and beyond to catalyze transformational change and better BBBSCI’s programming for the central Indiana community. This year, BBBSCI recognized AES Indiana as a top corporate partner for presenting the Big Futures: Career & College Readiness program and sponsoring various other events; the Indianapolis Colts as a top community partner for opening the door to new opportunities for the agency and our matches; and Eli Lilly and Company as a top volunteer partner for having the most Bigs as employees and coordinating their Lilly Global Day of Service for the past nine years to benefit BBBSCI. 

Brandi Davis-Handy, Chief Customer Officer at AES U.S. Utilities and Board President for BBBSCI, shared, “AES Indiana is honored to be recognized as a Changemaker, and even more, we are honored to support the game-changing mentorship and programs that BBBSCI provides for our community.” 

Ande Sadtler, Director of Community Impact for the Indianapolis Colts, said, “The Colts have loved engaging with BBBSCI deeper throughout our current three-year partnership. Our staff, players, coaches, and entire organization truly believe in the impact a mentor has on kids – standing alongside them as they develop into exceptional young people.” 

During the night, BBBSCI also recognized our 2024 class of Matches of the Year – Bigs and Littles who have built an exceptional mentoring relationship with each other that has positively impacted each other’s lives. Darcey Palmer-Shultz, CEO of BBBSCI, shared, “BBBSCI is excited to celebrate the young people, volunteers, and partners who bring our mission to life and share the rippling impact they have in our community through their involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters. If you’ve been thinking about doing something meaningful in 2024, we hope you’ll attend and consider getting involved.”

Click here to view all stories of our ten 2024 Matches of the Year.

Being a mentor, or “Big,” through BBBSCI requires a one-year commitment to be matched with a mentee, or “Little.” Bigs and Littles meet 4-6 hours per month, and together, they enjoy activities provided by BBBSCI and their partners or find activities within their community. To learn more about becoming a Big, visit www.bebigforkids.org/volunteer

For several decades, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana (BBBSCI) has partnered with the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) in Indianapolis to support more youth in the central Indiana community with mentorship services. 

With more than 1,000 young people still waiting for a mentor from the BBBSCI program, NPHC and BBBSCI hosted the second annual Coffee, Collab, & Convo event to raise more awareness for the need for more mentors, as well as recognize the ongoing partnership between BBBSCI and the NPHC. The event took place at the BBBSCI Mentoring Hub on Friday, January 19, 2024.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America President & CEO, Artis Stevens, joined the event virtually to speak about the impact that the NPHC has had for kids nationwide, as well as the continued need for more collaboration and partnership between the two organizations. Additionally, Frank Davis, former BBBSCI Board member and community leader, also spoke about the impact of mentorship throughout his life and those he’s known.

At the end, BBBSCI recognized the Chi Chi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) with a distinguished award for our partnership over the years. Several members of the Chapter have served as long-time Bigs to multiple Littles, including Esther Woodson, Executive Director of Indy Achieves, and Inga Harrington.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana Aims to Raise $300,000, Recruit 300 New Bigs

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana (BBBSCI) announces its Giving Tuesday campaign, The Big Blitz presented by the Indianapolis Colts, aimed at raising $300,000 to support one-to-one mentoring relationships and encouraging 300 people to take the first step to become Bigs. Every dollar raised to $150,000 will be matched by generous donors of BBBSCI. Taking place on November 28, 2023, The Big Blitz is an essential fundraising and recruitment effort driven by BBBSCI’s current and alumni Bigs and supporters that provides the connections and capacity for BBBSCI to match more young people in Marion, Hamilton, and Johnson counties with a caring and competent mentor.

Ande Satler, Director of Community Impact with the Indianapolis Colts, stated, “The Colts are excited to present The Big Blitz in partnership with BBBSCI for the third year in a row. The Colts believe that the mentoring friendships created and supported through BBBSCI help guide and shape the futures of our young people, and we are committed to positively impacting the greater Indianapolis community through this partnership.”

Through the storytelling of its biggest advocates, BBBSCI will invite the public to engage in an online fundraising campaign to support the creation of new mentoring relationships and sign up to volunteer – all to reach more of the 900+ youth waiting for a mentor.

“What makes this effort special is the support of our volunteer mentors. They see first-hand the impact of mentoring through their time with their Littles, and they want to help make sure more kids in our community benefit from that experience. We are grateful to the thousands of supporters and the Indianapolis Colts for showing through their words and action how much they believe in the power of mentorship,” shared Darcey Palmer-Shultz, CEO of BBBSCI.

BBBSCI invites the Central Indiana community to join their efforts to make a difference in the lives of kids in Central Indiana. Every person who makes a monetary donation or starts the process of becoming a Big will help BBBSCI create 100+ new mentoring friendships for kids in Central Indiana.

Being a mentor, or “Big,” through BBBSCI requires a one-year commitment to be matched with a mentee, or “Little.” Bigs and Littles meet 4-6 hours per month, and together, they enjoy activities provided by BBBSCI and their partners or find activities within their community.

On Monday, November 27, 2023, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana (BBBSCI) hosted the Run the Clock Bash at the BBBSCI Mentoring Hub to celebrate the MVPs who were instrumental in recruiting new Bigs and fundraising leading up to Giving Tuesday. The event aimed to honor the supporters of The Big Blitz and was open to individuals aged 21 and above interested in becoming Bigs. BBBSCI’s Giving Tuesday campaign, which launched in October, aimed to recruit 300 new mentors and raise $300,000. The Run the Clock Bash was a fantastic opportunity for attendees to interact with current and prospective mentors, staff, and special guests. Along with appetizers and drinks, attendees also enjoyed a special appearance from DeForest Buckner, the star defensive tackle for the Indianapolis Colts. Buckner was excited to be one of the champions for the Indianapolis Colt’s partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters and celebrate the difference that MVPs were making for the Central Indiana community. He also shared the positive impact of mentoring and how it has influenced his life. One major highlight of the event was the achievement of the MVPs in reaching their first few fundraising goals of over $20,000 before Giving Tuesday. The Run the Clock Bash was a huge success, thanks to the organizers, supporters, and MVPs who helped make it possible.

Energetic and fully charged, The Main Event returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in October 2023 for an evening celebration of the impact of mentoring and Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mission. Attendees rallied together to GO THE DISTANCE to defend, ignite, and empower the potential of all young people in Central Indiana! The experience went into overdrive as attendees took part in an exclusive evening at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track. They heard from celebrity speakers and inducted Matches into the Alumni Hall of Fame, while enjoying entertainment, a silent auction, food, and drink. The atmosphere was electric as everyone raced to ignite the power and promise of youth alongside the community! It was a night to remember, and all attendees left with a renewed sense of purpose and a commitment to making a difference.