Big Brothers Big Sister of Yorkton and Area marked their long history in Yorkton last week with a dinner featuring Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons.
Many may remember the event because they had a chance to listen to a great motivational speaker and the pedigree of a Canadian Football League star, even if it was with the dreaded Toronto Argonauts.
But the dinner should not be remembered for Clemons.
It should be remembered because it marked the 100th anniversary for the organization and its long history of helping young people.
While there are many organizations which do admirable social work in Yorkton, those which are focused on making things better in the lives of young people perhaps do the most important work of all.
It is often said that youth are a society’s most important resource.
They are certainly our future in as much as today’s children become our doctors, lawyers, and leaders of tomorrow.
But to be ready to assume the mantle of leadership they need a foundation to be laid when they are children.
That foundation is laid by many adults through a child’s life, but none of the components of that foundation are any more important than that laid by their parents.
Children gain much of their moral compass for life through lessons learned at home.
But in this day and age the idea of a family with both a mother and father in the home from a child’s birth to graduation, is a fading one.
Many children now grow up in single parent homes, a situation which creates unique challenges for both the child and the single parent.
That is where Big Brothers Big Sisters often steps in to help.
In requesting Yorkton Council proclaim September as Bigs Month in the city Irma Van De Bon, Executive Director of the Association said the organization “is proven to improve children’s odds for succeeding in school, behaving non-violently, increased self-esteem/self-worth, healthier lifestyles, evidence of higher incomes, avoiding drugs and alcohol, and breaking other negative cycles.
“We believe that by changing the course of young life’s we can in turn be changing the course of a community’s future. That it could lead to a reduction in poverty and unemployment, to safer schools and neighbourhoods, and to a renewed optimism for growth. That it could even lead to change on a broader, more far-reaching scale. Whether it’s in the form of time or money there is no more important investment we as individuals can make than in helping our community’s children realize – and share – their full potential.”
Those are important goals for any organization to set for itself, and we are fortunate Big Brothers Big Sisters has been achieving that goal for 100-years in this country, and locally in our city.