Big Brothers Big Sisters celebrates funding update

HELENA – Thanks to recent fundraising efforts and community donations Big Brothers Big Sisters of Helena and Great Falls is confident that they can make it through their current fiscal year.

The organization will continue their current operations through June thanks in part to funds raised from Dueling Pianos, Bowl for Kid’s Sake and a $12,500 donation from PacificSource Health Plans.

President and CEO of the organization Coleen Brady says that they’re aiming for a yearly operational budget of $300,000 to $350,000. That budget would be $200,000 less than their operational costs from the previous year.

The change in budget comes after the organization lost a significant portion of their annual budget due to State and Federal public funding cuts.

Brady says that right now they’re looking at new forms of funding going into their next fiscal year.

“We’ll come up with new ways of raising funds that we haven’t really done before,” says Brady, “But we’re not going to rely on public funding and I don’t think that day will return anyway.“

Going forward Brady says that B.B.B.S. is going to focus on the basics instead of trying to be all things to everyone.

“We can’t run three full programs in Big Brothers Big Sisters,” says Brady, “So we are going to zero in on what we know what works the best, is the most effective, helps kids the most and that is going to be our community based program.”

Once the organization has that running smoothly they will start to look at adding additional programs.

Brady also wants to thank the community for their generous support and says that she is committed to making sure that Big Brothers Big Sisters will continue to serve the community.

For more information about the programs B.B.B.S. of Helena and Great Falls provides and how to support them visit their website.