CEO Corner, Big Brothers Big Sisters of NH

CEO Corner: October Updates


Stacy Kramer, CEO

Yesterday, was a hard day. Between the usual shuffle of Zoom meetings and conference calls, I learned about a Little in our program who had run away from home after having struggled increasingly during the pandemic.

Thankfully, the child was located safely and our staff was able to connect the family with more support, but there have been many hard days like this over the past seven months. While the impacts of this pandemic are challenging for us all, some of its greatest burdens are being felt unequally by families who were struggling even before COVID-19. It is shining a light on economic inequality, health disparities and the lack of affordable housing right here in our own communities.

At BBBSNH, we are experiencing a heartbreaking increase in the needs of families we serve "“ from food insecurity, to lack of childcare, to mental health counseling and addiction treatment. Nevermind the stress of parents losing jobs or having to report to work while their children are learning remotely from home, and the ongoing disconnection from friends and community. 

On any given day, our BBBSNH staff is helping families connect with shelter and food resources. We are coaching Bigs about how best to support their Littles through remote learning. We recently worked to keep a Big connected to their Little after the child had to abruptly move to their grandparents' home several towns away, knowing the mentor's support was more important than ever during such a traumatic transition for the child.

I know there are more hard days ahead. What keeps me going is that I wake up each day feeling grateful for the mentors in our program who are changing kids' lives, and for the role I get to play in this organization.

My own family recently suffered the loss of my mother-in-law, a woman who made me feel included in the family and treated me as one of her own. Who wouldn't like to feel belonging like that?

Needless to say, losing her made me take a candid look at the things that are important. I have been reflecting on, first, how lucky I was to have a great mother-in-law, as they tend to get a bad rap; and second, what legacy do I want to leave behind?

Hopefully my legacy will be, in part, the way I was able to help kids here at BBBSNH. One thing I know for sure is that our Bigs are leaving an indelible legacy through their guidance and mentorship. Please take a moment to check out this article, which features a past Big Brother, Ken Blanchard. Ken passed away last month at the age of 84, but the legacy he left as a Big Brother is one to which I think we can all aspire.

And if you aspire to make a difference in a child's life, please consider taking another step with BBBSNH. Learn more about becoming a Big by visiting our website, or consider making a financial contribution to our upcoming Thankful Giving Campaign. I guarantee you, the investment is priceless.

This article was originally featured in the October issue of The Mentoring Connection, BBBSNH's monthly e-newsletter. To sign up for updates directly to your inbox click here.

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