Tuesday, February 20 , 2018, 2:38 am | Fair 39º

 
 
 
 
Advice

A Year of Friendship Celebrated at Big Brothers Big Sisters Holiday Party

Littles are thrilled to receive personalized holiday gifts, donated by Rotaract of Santa Barbara. Click to view larger
Littles are thrilled to receive personalized holiday gifts, donated by Rotaract of Santa Barbara. (Big Brothers Big Sisters photo)

The Buellton Recreation Center was filled with laughter, music and gifts as children, staff and volunteers celebrated the holidays and a year of friendships through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Santa Barbara County.

The annual festivity welcomed more than 80 guests and volunteers including big brothers and sisters (“bigs”), little brothers and sisters (“littles"), littles’ family members, board members and volunteers. 

Airforce volunteers from Vandenberg Air Force Base played the role of holiday elves, handing out personalized gifts donated by Rotaract of Santa Barbara to the littles.

Bigs and littles also enjoyed lunch, created holiday cookie trees and participated in a variety of crafts and activities including a karaoke, Wii winter sports and photo booth pictures.

This past year, Big Brothers Big Sisters served 221 youth, 222 volunteer mentors and netted 23,158 volunteer hours.

Recognized as the single most effective prevention-based youth mentoring program in the United States, at-risk children ages 6-15 are carefully matched with caring adult, volunteer mentors who help them reach their full potential.

Volunteers from Vandenberg Air Force Base play the role of holiday elves, handing out gifts to Little Brothers and Sisters. Click to view larger
Volunteers from Vandenberg Air Force Base play the role of holiday elves, handing out gifts to Little Brothers and Sisters. (Big Brothers Big Sisters photo)

Studies find that the children served by the Big Brothers Big Sisters program are more likely to succeed in school, make safer behavioral choices and have stronger relationships with their parents and others.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Santa Barbara County is a program of Family Service Agency. Established in 1899, FSA continues to improve the health and well-being of the community’s most vulnerable children, families and seniors through their transformative and essential programs: Big Brothers Big Sisters, Senior Services, Family Support Services, Youth & Family Behavioral Health and School Counseling Services.

Their programs combine clinical expertise, bilingual and bicultural staff and close collaboration with other agencies.

For more information, please visit fsacares.org or call 805.965.1001.

— Melinda Johansson is the development and marketing manager at Family Service Agency.

 
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