COVID-19 RESPONSE & UPDATES
From all of us at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Minnesota, we sincerely hope that you and your family are safe and healthy through this unprecedented time.
Now, perhaps more than ever, the mission and the impact of Big Brothers Big Sisters is evident and urgent. We still need your support to continue to offer our life changing program to youth in our communities. We know that together, we are defenders of potential. We are here to stand with the youth and empower them. Every day brings new changes and challenges, and we are confident that we will get through this.
We continue to check in with our Bigs and Littles on a regular basis and provide the support and resources to help them stay connected and continue to build their relationship. We are also providing resources to the families to help during this time of crisis. We are closely monitoring the situation will continue to provide updates.
Thank you for believing in us. Thank you for believing in the kids we serve. And thank you for standing beside us now as we face the challenges ahead.
Stay healthy and safe,
Executive Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Minnesota
BIGS, LITTLES, AND FAMILIES
We want to thank you for your flexibility and commitment to your match during these past few months. As you know, this has been a very difficult time for all of us, and we are doing our best to navigate this unprecedented time. Thank you for your patience as we work to resume match meetings and in-person get togethers. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Minnesota is excited to continue to slowly get back to “normal” with some modifications.
Match parties should adhere to CDC guidelines when meeting. These guidelines include, but are not limited to the following:
- Please stay home if you do not feel good
- Maintain social distance from others when possible
- Wear a face covering when in public (BBBS has face masks for Bigs and Littles available at our Owatonna office)
- Avoid gathering in groups and large crowds
- Wash hands frequently
- Use hand sanitizer
- Routinely disinfect commonly touched surfaces including those in your vehicle
- Avoid contact with others if you or someone you have been in contact with has a fever, is ill or has a confirmed case of COVID-19
All in-person outings should be considered optional. There is no obligation to start meeting in-person if all match parties are not 100% comfortable. We continue to encourage virtual contact with your Little as well.
Transportation Guidelines - Bigs transporting Littles
- Little must ride in the backseat, passenger side (no matter the age to allow for social distancing)
- Big and Little must wear a mask during transport
- Use hand sanitizer before entering the car
- Limit time in the car together
- Sanitize door handles and touched areas before and after transport
In-person Meeting Guidelines –
- Avoid large groups or gatherings
- Limit activities to outside, this is the perfect time of year to enjoy the great outdoors
- Do not spend time indoors
- Get creative – cooking, crafts, activities can all be done outside
- Avoid video games and movies
Please contact your Match Support Specialist with any questions. Stay safe and healthy!
- Click here for access to many family- and kid-friendly virtual activities.
- Click here for match activities and tips for Bigs while social distancing.
We continue to actively recruit new Bigs. Potential new volunteers should inquire online—the first step in becoming a Big. We are also hosting Virtual Info Sessions over Zoom to ask questions and jump-start our enrollment process. Volunteer interviews and match introductions are following all CDC and government guidelines. We have about 250 Littles waiting for a Big in our community right now.
- Click here to inquire, the first step in becoming a Big.
- Click here to sign up for a Virtual Info Session.
FOOD AND CLOTHING
- Free meals for students - click here for information in each district
- Steele County Food Shelf in Owatonna - food & clothing available for families in need
- Curbside pickup hours: Mon & Wed 9am - 4:30pm | Tues, Thurs, & Fri 9am - 3:30 pm
- Call 507-455-2991 for delivery for those with limited mobility
- Click here for a list of emergency food resources across Rice County.
- Dodge County Food Shelf in Kasson - call (507)634-4350 for information and to arrange a visit
- The Waseca Area Neighborhood Service Center's Food Shelf is open by appointment - Call 507-833-4119
- Click here for a list of resources in Rice County.
- Click here for a list of resources in Steele County.
Our in-office ours are Monday, Tuesday, and Friday 8 am - 4:30 pm. Our staff is working remotely Wednesdays and Fridays. Match Support Specialists remain our go-to resources for all Bigs and Littles. As always, contact your MSS at any time with questions or concerns.
EVENING FOR KIDS' SAKE
Evening for Kids’ Sake shifted from an in-person gala to a virtual event on March 14, 2020. We would like to once again thank our supporters for staying engaged through last minute changes, giving big, and supporting the youth of our community.
BOWL BOCCE FOR KIDS' SAKE
The Bowl for Kids’ Sake events in April 2020 have been cancelled. Instead, we held Bocce for Kids' Sake outdoors and safely distanced. Visit our Bocce for Kids’ Sake fundraising website for more information.
GOLF GIVE FOR KIDS' SAKE
We have made the difficult decision to cancel Golf for Kids’ Sake. We look forward to this event every year, and we hope to be together again in 2021.
In times of uncertainty, the most vulnerable among us are the most impacted, especially youth. Right now, many of our Littles are facing critical issues like isolation and depression. Our commitment to positively impact youth and our community through one-to-one mentorship is more important than ever.
We hope you continue to stand with us. Together, we can further our critical mission and defend the potential of local youth. We understand you may have different priorities right now, but we also know you care as much about our youth as we do. Please consider a donation to Give for Kids’ Sake. Your donation will help us match more local children with positive role models that will ignite and empower the promise of youth.
Thank you for your continued support.