SUMMERDALE, Alabama — Christmas will be a little brighter for one North Baldwin family, thanks to donations from the Baldwin County Public Schools Transportation Department.
Employees with the Transportation Department raised more than $750 to purchase toys, shopped, wrapped gifts, even purchased snacks for the family to use over the 10-day holiday break.
The family, a single-mother with two boys from the Stockton area, is a part of the school-based mentoring programs provided by Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Alabama, said Luann Crawford, Big Brothers Big Sisters coordinator for Baldwin and Escambia counties.
One of the boys, a fifth-grader at Bay Minette Elementary School, was adopted personally by Crawford.
“Personally, I find it so touching that this department would take the time out to help someone else at this time of the year,” said Crawford. “This little boy actually volunteers his time with the Peer Helpers program at his school, he and his family just need a little extra help during this time of the year and it just warms my heart that this group reached out to provide that help.”
The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Alabama is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.
“This is absolutely wonderful,” said Kelly Quails, vice president of programs for Big Sisters Big Sisters of South Alabama. “I know this family will be head over heals excited. What a wonderful group of people!”
Tony Pollard, Baldwin County School System transportation coordinator, said this is all part of the department’s effort to give back.
“As an educator, this just warms my heart,” he said. “And I am so proud that this is something that our whole department stepped up and chose to become a part of, not just a few individuals.”
According to its website, bbbssa.org. Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Alabama is the largest one-to-one mentoring organization in south Alabama serving over 600 children and a minimum of 1,800 people annually across four counties.
The program enlists adult volunteers, “Bigs”, and matches them with “Littles,” who are children between the ages of 6-12 and would benefit the most from having a Big.
“The purpose of our services is to give children a caring and supportive adult mentor, who’s been thoroughly screened and trained, that will guide them to success, hold them accountable, and help them reach their full potential,” according to the website.
If you would like more information on how you can enroll a child or become a volunteer with the program, visit bbbssa.org or email Quails at firstname.lastname@example.org.