Unity is Our Strength: Making Waves & BBBS Partnership
When we think about making a difference we fall for the myth that we have to start out doing something big in order to have any effect. However, at Making Waves we believe it doesn’t. We’ve all had that spark of inspiration where we’ve wanted to do something that will outlast our physical form. Then we share the idea with friends, family and work colleagues and get told to quit while we’re ahead. We want you to know that you shouldn’t have to quit. Making a difference begins with the belief that you can do something that doesn’t just benefit yourself. When your sole purpose is to believe in something bigger than yourself, you are on the right path.
Last month, in honour of our 25th anniversary, Making Waves had the wonderful opportunity to partner up with Big Brothers Big Sisters Peel (https://bigbrothersbigsisters.ca/) and support the great work they do for children and youth in this community. As a token of our appreciation, Making Waves donated 25 Swimming Lesson Packages to BBBS in hopes of targeting youth who may not have had the opportunity for formal swimming lessons. We believe that swimming is a lifelong, and potentially life-saving skill that everybody should learn and there’s nothing more rewarding than giving back and making a difference in the lives of people in this great community. Big Brothers Big Sisters’ agencies offer a range of mentoring programs to meet the needs of Canadian children and families. In the traditional one-to-one mentoring programs, one youth and one adult mentor meet twice a month for at least one year.
Big Brothers Big Sisters has been providing life changing mentoring experiences since 1912, and they were named One of MoneySense Magazine’s top 10 youth charities in 2019! This year alone Big Brothers Big Sisters impacted over 41,000 youth in over 1,100 communities across Canada. And in Peel, over 2,000 youth!
Many children and youth in Canada struggle with societal barriers and face adversities in their lives like detrimental living conditions, family violence, risk factors for mental health, school issues and identity challenges.These circumstances have nothing to do with the value of who they are or who they can become, but because of these situations, children and youth risk not having the opportunity to live up to their full potential. Even worse is the possibility of continuing cycles of poverty and crime or developing mental health issues. This comes at a cost to the young person, and to society.
Making Waves and Big Brothers Big Sisters together aim towards assisting parents, mentees, children, and volunteers to better opportunities. This ranges from staff training workshops to leading a Child Safety Program. Most importantly, with being able to provide guidance and support of a mentor, several risks can be reduced or even avoided, and youth are reminded they can be anything they dream of being. “We proudly partner with Making Waves to ensure that we ignite the power and potential of the children and youth in our community. Making Waves is passionate about our community and how innovative ideas and selfless support can enable possibilities. Mentoring makes waves”- (Shari Lynn Ladanchuk, CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel). At Making Waves we understand and acknowledge the power of mentorship. We do ‘Whatever It Takes’ to ensure our staff get the opportunities that they seek for personal and professional development.
Many of our staff have shared stories about how they got further in their careers than they thought just because someone else thought they could. We believe in ‘Cheering For Each Other’ and inviting a circle of positive change. Everything from how to speak to parents to body language and eye contact are just some of the skills that we help our staff to develop. This not only helps them perform their duties exceptionally but they go on to learn something about themselves and teach it to others. This ripple effect is what we call mentoring. A mentor is not someone who simply walks ahead of you to show you how they did it, a mentor is someone who walks WITH you to show you what you can do.
Taking small actions might feel insignificant at times but you never know how you may impact someone else’s life and make a difference. After all, a small pebble in the pond is the one that creates a large ripple for change. Most of us ordinary folk don’t set out to launch rocket ships into space, we start out doing one thing we love and go from there. We are proudly partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters to ensure that we ignite the power and potential of the children and youth in our community. We are deeply passionate about our community and how innovative ideas and selfless support can enable possibilities so one day you can launch your own rocket ship.