For more than a century, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been helping change kids’ perspectives and giving them the opportunity to reach their potential. And we have more than a century of volunteers, donors, and advocates just like you to thank.
It all started in 1904, when a young New York City court clerk named Ernest Coulter was seeing more and more boys come through his courtroom. He recognized that caring adults could help many of these kids stay out of trouble, and he set out to find volunteers. That marked the beginning of the Big Brothers movement.
At around the same time, the members of a group called Ladies of Charity were befriending girls who had come through the New York Children’s Court. That group would later become Catholic Big Sisters.
Both groups continued to work independently until 1977, when Big Brothers Association and Big Sisters International joined forces and became Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
More than 100 years later, Big Brothers Big Sisters remains true to our founders’ vision of bringing caring role models into the lives of children. And, today, Big Brothers Big Sisters currently operates in all 50 states—and in 12 countries around the world.
At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cumberland & Salem Counties, an affiliate of BBBSA, began in the 1970s as Big Brothers of Vineland, providing one-to-one mentoring services to boys referred by the judicial system. On September 29, 1982, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cumberland County was established to serve boys and girls, no longer referred by the judicial system. In 1995, we established our first Site Based Mentoring Program for volunteers to meet with children in spaces such as a school, workplace, church, or a library.
By 2005, the agency expanded service to include Salem County. In the past decade, we served thousands of children and youth in one-to-one, long-term, outcome-based mentoring relationships. Our agency is committed to the growth and quality of our programs, earning several awards throughout the years, including the Quality, Gold Standard, and Pinnacle awards while also receiving national recognition for CEO of the year in 2008 and Board of the Year in 2015.
Since 2015 our agency has initiated several new programs such as Workplace Mentoring in 2018 and Mentor2.0: a college and career readiness program in 2019. In 2022 our agency celebrated 40 years of providing mentoring services to youth in our community.
Ernest Coulter founds the organized Big Brothers movement by obtaining 39 volunteers, who each agree to befriend one boy.
Big Brothers of Vineland serves boys referred by family court and mentored by lawyers, police officers, doctors, and prominent business professionals.
Big Brothers of Vineland becomes Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cumberland County, serving boys and girls ages 7 through 18 throughout Cumberland County that were primarily referred by a relative or teacher.
Public/Private Ventures Study on Big Brothers Big Sisters Community-Based Mentoring shows measurable, positive results on youth who have a Big Brother or Sister, seminal research in the field of youth mentoring.
Big Brothers Big Sisters celebrates 100 years of serving America’s youth.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cumberland County expands its service area to include Salem County and changes name to reflect the service area.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cumberland & Salem Counties receives the Gold Standard Award for pace setting performance in quality growth and our President/CEO receives CEO of the Year award at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America National Conference
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cumberland & Salem Counties receives the Gold Standard Award for being a top performer among small agencies.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cumberland & Salem Counties receives the Pinnacle Award and Board of the Year Award at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America National Conference.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cumberland & Salem Counties receives the Quality Award.
President/CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cumberland & Salem Counties, Donna Bennett, receives the Non Profit Sector South Jerseyan of the Year Award at the 15th Annual Walter and Leah Rand Awards and Scholarship Dinner.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cumberland & Salem Counties celebrates 40 years of serving youth in Cumberland & Salem Counties.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cumberland & Salem Counties moves into new office space that is centrally located in their Cumberland and Salem county service area. The new headquarters is at 60 Landis Avenue in Upper Deerfield, Bridgeton, New Jersey.