Big Brothers Big Sisters is coming back to Jacksonville. Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Central Illinois closed its doors back in June 30th. Brian Ganz, a former Executive Director of the group, has been working to bring the services back to Morgan County ever since. Ganz said he was heart-broken when the agency closed. Ganz immediately reached to colleagues in the state and was able to get connected to the Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Central Illinois group that serves all the major metropolitan areas of Central Illinois. The group accepted Jacksonville into their group.
Ganz said the new group will be starting from scratch with the new organization of Big Brothers-Big Sisters. The Emma Raynor Estate has committed some funding for the new chapter but Ganz says some money still needs to be raised before the service can be fully functional again. He said the group is trying to raise an additional $20,000 before they can begin serving matches in the community.
The new office will be located in the old Early Years offices at 110 Walnut Court. Ganz says their signature event to raise funds will happen in the early Spring with Bowl For Kids Sake. Ganz says its just a great community event to celebrate all of Jacksonville’s youth.
Ganz hopes that once the newly created Regional Board gets a fund development strategy in place to make the group viable in Morgan County that they can begin finding volunteers to match up with kids. Ganz hopes with successful fundraising and planning this fall that the first orientations can happen in late November or early December. If you would like to know more information or get involved in the new chapter of Big Brothers-Big Sisters, contact Ganz at 248-5397 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.