Teaming Up to Make a Difference
Nearly half a million children in Metro Atlanta live in communities with low child well-being, according to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Many of their “littles” rarely leave their neighborhoods.
So when Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta sent a group of bigs (big brothers or sisters) and littles (the children they mentor) to an Atlanta Hawks game at State Farm® Arena, the kids got an entirely different view of their city.
“A lot of our littles go to school and come straight home. An event like this exposes our littles to things they might not normally be exposed to,” says Kelci Sleeper of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta. The organization’s mission is to recruit volunteers to become mentors to children facing adversity. “Many professional basketball players come from similar backgrounds as some of the children we serve. So it can be inspirational to see those players up close.”
“State Farm invited local Atlanta nonprofits that we have a relationship with to attend a game or special event at State Farm Arena,” says Lonnie Smith, State Farm manager. “It has been a great way to show our gratitude for their work in local communities. The nonprofits, including their leaders, staff, and, in some instances, the clients they serve, have appreciated this opportunity.”
Thirty-five kids from three Metro Atlanta Boys & Girls Clubs attended another recent Atlanta Hawks game.
“It was amazing. The kids had great seats. The dance team came to their section and one of the kids was on the dance cam,” says Brandon Riley, East DeKalb Boys & Girls Club executive director.
The Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta works with kids and teens to provide an environment where they feel safe to dream, discover and develop.
“Experiences like this gives the kids a sense of how things can be if they work hard. A lot of them want to be basketball players and seeing players they look up to is wonderful,” Brandon says. “It helps that they get the chance to experience these things.”