Glenn Stutzman, Executive Director of
Big Brothers/Big Sisters,
Spoke to the Club
President Scott Puckett opened the meeting.
Sergeant Anthony Hunt collected money from all attending Rotarians.
The speaker was Glenn Stutzman, Executive Director at Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Elkhart County.  Glenn opened with some statistics from John Sowers book, “Fatherless Generation.” 25 million kids don’t have a father in their life; that’s 1 in 3 children in the US. Those children are 63% more likely to commit suicide; 90% more likely to be runaways; 75% more likely to be in youth substance abuse programs; 85% more likely to be in juvenile prisons.
While there are many organizations trying to reach ‘those’ kids, BB/BS to come at the problem by focusing on mentoring one-on-one.  BB/BS wants these at-risk young people to see a role model outside their existing situation a few times a month to help calm them down. When a ‘big’ can give individual attention to a ‘little,’ that young person’s life outlook is significantly improved.  Studies show their behavior significantly improves as does their trust in others, and interest in their own education.
The challenge is how difficult it can be to provide that kind of intensive mentoring to all the children who need it. Right now, there are 60 ‘littles’ waiting to be paired with a ‘big.’ Many ‘littles’ wait over a year to be placed with a ‘big.’ The community needs a lot more ‘bigs.’
To get involved, check out the website:
Upcoming Programs:
3-27-17 Jennifer Tank—Indiana Watershed Initiative: Using Conservation to Prevent Nutrient Loss from Indiana Farms
4-3-17   Beverly Kitson—Elkhart Rotary Costa Rica Library Project Update
4-10-17 Sonya Nash—Elkhart County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau—Overview of 2017 Quilt Gardens