With the cancellation of the 39th Annual Bowl for Kids' Sake — the largest fundraising activity of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Vermont — a new virtual campaign has been launched: The Big Night In.
"This is a critical time to ensure that mentors ("Bigs") can continue to support kids ("Littles") through this time of physical distancing. Social connections keep kids motivated, engaged and healthy and need to be nurtured now more than ever, " said Kimberley Diemond, the director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Vermont, in a news release. "Our number one priority is to keep supporting kids and families throughout Windham County and Vermont now and in the future."
Anyone who is able to support local Bigs and Littles may donate the cost of an activity they would normally go out for, such as a dinner, coffee with a friend, a movie, or bowling.
"We find ourselves in an urgent situation" says Diemond. "We are facing a $60,000 deficit by year end, and are taking a proactive approach to recoup funding losses brought on by the COVID-19 crisis. We also want to be poised to serve the greater need on the other side of this pandemic. We hope to provide some fun opportunities for our friends and neighbors in the process."
Supporters are encouraged
to recreate their favorite outing at home, share a photo or video on BBBS's social media and send a challenge to their friends. Ideas include: host a virtual dinner party, concert, dance or movie night; create a new mocktail and meal from pantry items; or host a Virtual Bowl for Kids' Sake tournament.
Gift certificates to local shops and restaurants will be awarded for the largest fundraisers, most creative ideas, and highest virtual bowling scores.
The event will kick off on this Friday and run through May 30. Live online events will enable supporters to share and see what others are doing for The Big Night In, and hear about what it's like to volunteer as a Big Brother or Sister. Groups can also register and participate as a team.
To sponsor, join the live events, fundraise or register a team, visit bbbsvt.org and choose from a variety of options. Participants will be able to post their photos, stories, videos, or recipes prior to or during the live events.
The organization is also seeking larger donations that can be used to match campaign donations. Interested parties may contact director Kimberley Diemond at email@example.com or 802-451-0928. Donations can be made online or sent to BBBSVT at PO Box 1729, Brattleboro, VT 05302.