Our History in Orillia, Ontario
The Orillia & District Big Brothers Association was established in this community in November 1966 to meet the needs of young boys who would benefit from the consistent friendship of a caring male adult. Big Sisters of Orillia & District was established in this community in November 1979 to enhance the lives of young girls who would benefit from caring female role models. Throughout the years, thousands of boys and girls have found lasting friendships with caring men and women.
At the national level, Big Brothers of Canada, Big Sisters of Canada and Big Sisters of Ontario joined together to form Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada. Locally, the remaining few agenices which still operated separately in their communities, also explored the benefits of amalgamation.
Joint discussions regarding a proposed amalgamation of the Orillia & District Big Brothers Association and Big Sisters of Orillia & District were initiated in July 2005. Following that time, all aspects of an amalgamation were thoroughly examined, and a proposal was put forth to the Board of Directors of each Orillia agency. Both Boards unanimously supported amalgamation at the local level. This decision was further endorsed by the memberships of both organizations at a joint membership meeting in March 2006, with a legal amalgamation date of June 1, 2006.
As competition for charity dollars becomes more difficult, we felt we could work together to raise more revenue for our expanding programs and that funders in our community would applaud our efforts at partnership. Most important, however, will be our ability to serve more children with more mentoring programs, in a way that continues to meet the unique needs of both boys and girls. As two organizations providing many of the same activities to the same families, coming together as one organization was the most practical next step.
Our members experience many of the same events and activities that were unique to each organization, as well as new opportunities now available to us as a larger agency. As a joint organization, we provide service to over 150 children over the course of a year, and support approximately 120 volunteers. We are excited about our growing programs, but also want to continue to offer the personal service which means so much to our families and volunteers.
We thank the community for its support over many years and look forward to increased partnerships in the months and years to come.