With the end of our first annual charity auction looming closer in the next 24 hours, I would really like to reinforce what a benevolent charity we’ve chosen to benefit from the auction’s proceeds. The Sault Ste. Marie chapter of the United Way provides support to our community by identifying priority issues such as health, poverty, employment, and youth concerns; and by directing future activity towards these areas.
One of the primary focuses of the SSM United Way is helping children be “All that kids can be”. An example of a United Way funded program that directly affects children’s development is the Big Brothers Big Sisters Matching Program.
This program facilitates relationships for girls and boys from families where a parent is absent and provides positive experiences and a role model figure which helps young girls and boys develop self-confidence and help fulfill their potential.
Nadia Kovacs, a participant in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Matching Program since June 2011, gives the following sentiments about her experience:
“My name is Nadia Kovacs, I am 24 years old, and I am a BIG SISTER. After having only 1 younger brother for a sibling, my opportunity to have a sister started on June 9th 2011. On that day, I became a BIG SISTER to Venessa Tookenay. Being a BIG SISTER is a chance for me to be that positive role model in a young person’s life. It is also an opportunity to be an active volunteer for an organization within the community. Being a BIG SISTER requires time commitment; although, it is one of the most rewarding experiences that I will ever take part in. I am able to act as a mirror for my sister, by being able to show her the varieties of both experience and opportunity out there for her to see and explore.
One of the main goals between a Big and Little is to establish a lifelong-lasting friendship. I can confidently say that this has been established and further blossoms each time we meet.
Venessa has become a part of my family. We are constantly learning about each other, through experiences and memories, and realize more and more that we have a lot in common. Venessa has introduced me to some cultural activities that she participates in, such as PowWows, and I try my best in anyway to always support her by attending sports games, presentations, and cultural activities.
Venessa and I engage in a variety of activities, both at our own expense, promoting a ‘low-cost-no-cost’ attitude, as well as community participation. I’ve noticed myself participating in activities that I rarely would not if it was not for Venessa. We attend many sponsored activities, as a way of showing our appreciation, some of which include: United Way Pasta Dinner and Motivational Speaker, the OCAA event at the George Leach, Annie and the Rotary Parade.
I am a young woman. I am an older sister, and now I HAVE a sister. Thank you”
Sault Online is very proud to support the United Way and their undertaking of providing funding to programs such as Big Brothers Big Sisters Matching Program. With less than a day left on the Sault Online auction, there’s still a little bit of time left to cast your bid, purchase an item generously donated by our sponsors, and feel good that 100% of the proceeds are going to helping people in the Sault community. All of the items are listed at half of the retail value, making your participation an economical way to make a difference.