Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities is the area's oldest mentoring organization. For 89 years, BBBS has made a difference in the lives of local children.
Nationally, Big Brothers Big Sisters began in New York City in 1904, when a young law clerk named Ernest Coulter sought men to befriend the boys he saw coming through the court system. Since then, BBBS' mission has remained the same: to enrich young people's lives through one-to-one friendships.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities
2550 University Avenue, Suite 410N
St. Paul, MN 55114
Pam Tardy, an account operations specialist for General Mills, was inspired by the work her mother and sister were doing as volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of the Greater Twin Cities.
Wanting to become a positive influence too, Pam decided to become a Big Sister as well.
"I wanted the chance to make a real difference in a little girl's life and provide her with a stable and encouraging relationship," she said. "I also wanted a reason to act like a kid again!"
She did that and more. This September, General Mills featured a profile of Pam's volunteer work on the homepages of the company's VolunteerMatch and Foundation Web sites.
Supporting the efforts of employees to get involved in their communities is a critical part of General Mills' approach to employee volunteering. Through the General Mills VolunteerMatch site, employees can search for opportunities that are personally meaningful to them.
As a Big Sister, Pam quickly developed a strong bond with Victoria, her 10-year old "Little," but she says that maintaining and growing the relationship was much easier to do through the flexibility and support of both General Mills and BBBS. Recently, for example, General Mills' Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteers held a "Bring Your Little to Work Day." Together Pam and Victoria have enjoyed various events and outings developed by the General Mills network of "Bigs" that meet quarterly to share stories and ideas.
"It is satisfying to know coworkers who value giving back as much as I do. I think it is incredible that we are allowed to take time out of our work day to give back to the community," she said.
Pam hopes to be in her "Little's" life for a long time: "She's only ten now but I can't wait to help her pick out a college, become an adult, and one day be a Big to her own Little," she said.
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