Half Million Dollar Donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Windsor Essex!
Alan Quesnel embodies the true meaning of giving back. Remembering the positive difference that his former Big Brother, Kirk Windibank, made to his own life, he reached out to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Windsor Essex in order to make a BIG IMPACT on the lives of children and youth still waiting for a mentor of their own.
His donation of $500,000 is made in the name of his former “Big”, Kirk — as well as the 200 men and women currently mentoring more than 800 children and youth in Windsor Essex.
“Every child’s life is a blessing, and all deserve good role models alongside them for guidance on life as well as their future paths while they grow into adulthood”, said Mr. Quesnel.
To celebrate this donation a recognition and cheque presentation was recently held at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Windsor Essex agency.
“Even though the Windsor Essex story is one of recent economic rebound, the devastating results of those years of recession have left in its wake some changing and challenging realities for many of our region’s families. As a result, in recent years, we’ve experienced tremendous growth in the number of children and youth needing a mentor”, said Becky Parent, Executive Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Windsor Essex.
“And even though we served more than 800 young people last year, our current resources are neither equipped to keep up with the increase in numbers nor the complexity of needs”, she said.
“Mr. Quesnel’s gift will provide resources necessary to find and train volunteers equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to mentor these young people so that they have the same chance as others to experience positive relationships with peers and adults, develop self-insight and positive choice-making and begin to achieve the same things other children: graduate from high school, attend post secondary and trades training and have positive relationships with their teachers, parents and/or caregivers.”
Parent says a big part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters messaging is about imagining who children can become because of mentors – and we want to imagine a community where each and every one of our kids are nurtured and supported to begin to imagine as well.
Studies show that relationships formed by volunteer mentors have proven to be instrumental in reducing bullying and other related negative behavior such as lack of interest in school, truancy, low self-esteem and drug and alcohol abuse. Others have shown a direct correlation between mentoring and academic achievement and post-secondary completion.
“Mr. Quesnel is a well-known, successful businessman and we’re proud to claim him as one of the many children and youth, who after being mentored, made a success of their lives,” says Parent. “But more than this – its his huge heart that we’re most proud of and grateful for. As an extremely generous philanthropist, he’s a role model in his own right to others in our community who find themselves in a position to give back.”
As Windsor Essex’s leading child and youth mentoring agency, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been providing children with adult mentors and life changing relationships for almost 50 years. Currently, the agency provides mentors to more than 800 children and youth in Windsor and Essex County through seven (7) different programs.
Although most well-known for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Mentoring Program, the organization has enhanced how it serves its community by creating new and innovative programming that adapts to the needs of both the volunteer mentors and the young people they serve.
A recent study conducted by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada revealed that every dollar invested in mentoring by Big Brothers Big Sisters, $18 will be returned to its community. This is shown through the increased taxes and spending from earning a higher than average income, increased volunteering and donations given by people who have been mentored through Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Big Brothers Big Sisters returns positive results in the mental health, employment and civic engagement of the recipients of our mentoring programs. Changing the course of young lives changes the future of community!