In Kind, Kindly
Big Brothers Big Sisters need you! Both San Luis Obispo and Fresno chapters have a long list of children in need of mentors. These are kids who know their chances of becoming a successful adult are higher if someone helps them along. That someone could be you!
TekTegrity makes in-kind donations every year to Big Brothers Big Sisters at a rate of $12,000 a year for IT support and services. Over 7 years, that has added up to $85,000. In this article, Executive Director Anna Boyd-Bucy of Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo County talks with Russ Levanway, CEO of TekTegrity, on why his company has chosen to so generously support youth mentoring through their IT services, and how his wife Sarah, got him involved.
Anna: Russ, TekTegrity has been supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters for about 7 years. Your contributions aren’t just generous; they are continuous year after year. We have absolutely come to rely on you. Being able to budget for your specific support has been a really good thing for us. How did you decide for TekTegrity to support your community, and why Big Brothers Big Sisters?
Russ: We have always wanted to support youth-in-need in our community. Where is making an impact meaningful, if not in the lives of kids? Big Brothers Big Sisters truly changes lives through the mentorships that are facilitated through their program. To this day, the stories are powerful and moving. Hearing Littles talk about what a difference in their lives their mentor has made, and seeing the evidence of it, has had a big impression on me. On top of this, your San Luis Obispo chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters is very well run and has received numerous national accolades. I have confidence that our donations are being put to good use to fulfill a great mission.
Initially, we were involved in your workplace mentoring program, introducing teens to the IT field. Soon enough, I was on the board and it just made the most sense for my company to provide the IT needs. As board members, we were hearing about the everyday practical needs of the non-profit. And they are the same as any business. You can’t do your job if the computers aren’t working right.
Anna: I believe your wife Sarah got you involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters, is that right?
Russ: Yes, that is true. My wife Sarah has been a Big Sister for over a decade now. It is so rewarding watching the relationship she has built with her Little Sister. Her Little Sister is in college now. She is the first in her family to do so, and I don’t think it would have been possible if it weren’t for Sarah’s influence. She has a good head on her shoulders and a good idea of what she wants to accomplish in life. They still keep in touch regularly to this day, even though she is not so “little” anymore!
Anna: But Sarah wasn’t “just” a Big Sister. She was the 2014 Big Sister of the Year for the entire state of California! She has done an amazing job and we are so proud of that match. We always need more people like Sarah who can volunteer in our community. Currently, we have about 50 kids on the wait list for a mentor. These are kids who know their chances of becoming a successful adult are higher if someone helps them along.
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Call Big Brothers Big Sisters today to see how you can help kids in your community
reach their full potential.
San Luis Obispo County at 805-781-3226 or slobigs.org
Fresno at 559-268-2447 or bigs.org
And if mentoring is not for you at this stage in your life, consider attending the Big Brothers Big Sisters upcoming Big Event on June 18th at Loma Grand Ranch in San Luis Obispo for great wine, food, and auction items. Plus you’ll hear some moving stories about how much being a mentor means to these kids. Hope to see you there!