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"We believe in the value and values of mentoring."

About Us

As Canada’s leading child and youth mentoring charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters facilitates life-changing relationships that inspire and empower children and youth to reach their potential, both as individuals and citizens.

Our History in the Greater Niagara Area

In 1957, then magistrate Johnstone Roberts was speaking at a home and school meeting at Diamond Jubilee school.He spoke of the lack of programs to help some of the young women he was seeing appear before him in his courts.Mrs. Jean Hesse took on the challenge from Mr. Roberts, and formed a committee to begin what became the Greater Niagara Big Sisters Association, which began in 1958.Original charter members of Greater Niagara Big Sisters Association were; Florence Clark, Rita Preston, Jean Hesse, and Diane Sheppard.Dena Roberts and Connie Costanzo were the first counselors, and volunteered many hours to ensure the success of this program.Dr. Lillian Clark was named as the Honorary President of the Association.

In 1969, recognizing the need for additional funding to support their programs, as well as the need to provide an affordable clothing option for those in need, the Greater Niagara Big Sisters Association started the Nearly New Store.The Nearly New store sells gently used clothing donated to the organization.After operating at several different locations, this store is now located at 4311 Queen Street, and not only provides affordable clothing for the general public, but also supports clients of Project Share and Nova House by providing vouchers for free emergency clothing.

Greater Niagara Big Brothers Association—In 1964, several community members, including magistrate Johnstone Roberts, recognized the need for Big Brothers programs in Niagara Falls.Success in cities across America as well as in Hamilton, Welland, and St. Catharines at diverting young men from ‘training school’ through Big Brothers mentoring programs encouraged these local men to start a Big Brothers organization in Niagara Falls, and on February 19th, 1964, the Greater Niagara Big Brothers Association was born.The first executive of the Association was; Norman Chevers, Johnstone Roberts, David Hagarty, Dr. Peter Davidson, J.S. Heatherington, and M.S. Cushing.Later, in July of 1966, the Association welcomed John Prentice as their inaugural Executive Director, a position he held until his retirement in 2001.

In 1993, Big Brothers and Big Sisters formed merged to become Niagara Falls Big Brothers Big Sisters Association. Since the inception of the two associations, over 3500 children have benefited from our mentoring programs, and over 4300 men and women have volunteered to make a difference in the lives of children in Niagara Falls. 

Our Next Event

Join us for our Annual Golf for Kids Sake on Wed. July 19th at Thundering Waters!  Contact Jennifer at 905-357-5454 for more details on participating or sponsoring this event!

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