Big Brothers of Midland County Founded
April 1, 1955
Big Brothers of Midland County was established in April 1955. Their motto was, “No man stands so straight as when he stoops to help a boy.” The purpose of the organization was “To provide guidance for boys who come from broken homes or are in trouble with the law.” They had an acting chairman and an 18-member board of directors. In September 1955, the organization became incorporated and one year later the first match was made.
Big Sisters of Midland County Founded
May 1, 1959
In May 1959, Big Sisters was established through the impetus of the Zonta Club in Midland, and was incorporated. Their original mission was “To provide individual support to the emotional, moral and spiritual needs of the child; to guide the child toward socially acceptable behavior, and to help her attain faith in herself and experience trust in adults.”
Big Sisters Becomes Member of Midland County Community Fund
January 1, 1962
In 1962, Big Sisters became a member of the Midland County Community Fund, and received scholarship money for the first time to send children to camp. Camp experiences have been given to thousands of Midland County children and remains an important aspect of our program.
Partnership with Friendship House Begins
January 1, 1965
In 1965, a five-year pilot project entitled “A New Dimension in Service for Big Sisters” is created in relation to the establishment of the Friendship House. The House, located at 1115 Ashman Street, was then purchased in 1966 with a grant from the Dow Foundation. The Big Sisters offices were officially moved to the Friendship House in 1967. Friendship House operations began in 1968 with the new slogan “An adventure in friendship.” Friendship House remained the home of Big Sisters until August 1986 when
Wildcat Softball League Established
June 1, 1969
In 1969, the Wildcat Softball League was established in partnership with the newly formed Sunrise Optimist Club. Twenty waiting list boys, ages 8 to 12, comprised the league. Today nearly 140 boys and girls learn to play the national pastime each summer.
Married Couples Program Started
October 1, 1979
In October 1979, the married couples program started and was titled, “Two for One.” It was originally designed for boys under the age of 8.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Midland County Formed
August 1, 1986
In August 1986, Big Brothers of Midland County officially merged with Big Sisters of Midland County. The newly merged Big Brothers Big Sisters agency moved into the expanded office space of the old Big Brother program in the Barstow/Currie Building on Eastman Road. By 1990 the remodeled and refurbished Sears building on Main Street became the Strosacker Center and the new home of United Way and several other agencies including Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Teaming Up With YOUth Started
February 1, 1998
The one major program innovation of the 1990’s occurred in February of 1998 when the new one-to-one matching strategy, “Teaming Up With YOUth” began at Pine River Elementary School. This program continues to serve children in many elementary schools throughout the county.
Bowl for Kids’ Sake Begins
March 1, 2002
In March of 2002, Bowl for Kids’ Sake was launched in Midland. In subsequent years, this would turn out to be the biggest portion of the fundraising budget for the agency.
BBBS Joins Facebook
March 1, 2009
In March of 2009, Big Brothers Big Sisters in the Heart of Michigan joined Facebook. This marks the first time that the agency started using social media to promote its message.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Great Lakes Bay Region Forms
June 1, 2012
Big Brothers Big Sisters in the Heart of Michigan and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Saginaw Bay merged to form a regional organization, with headquarters remaining in Midland, MI.
Holly Miller Named Executive Director
October 28, 2016
After a nationwide search, BBBS hired Holly Miller to lead the team as our new executive director. Holly brought years of non-profit and advertising experience to our agency, giving us the keys to enter a brighter future.
Building Brighter Futures Event Begins
December 14, 2017
In December of 2017, the first ever Building Brighter Futures event was held at the BBBS main office in Midland. The event showcases the impact BBBS has on kids in the community, and the challenges the organization faces to meet their needs.