On Thursday November 9th, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Niagara hosted local MPPs for facility tours at their newly renovated St. Catharines location. The tour showcased improvements to the facility entrance and the main floor washrooms which were made possible by a $132,200 Capital grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF).
“These investments into St. Catharines have done more than renovate our spaces – they’ve built stronger, more inclusive communities,” said Jennie Stevens, MPP for St. Catharines. “It’s a genuine source of pride to see the work of local organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters of Niagara recognized and rewarded with provincial funding. This ensures that everyone, regardless of ability, is welcomed here.”
The OTF grant funded several improvements to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Niagara’s facilities including widening of the main access doors to the facility, creating a new accessible main floor washroom, adding push-button door openers, new wayfinding signage that includes brail, and improvements to lighting and flooring.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters Niagara help countless young people and families in our community here in Niagara, by providing positive role models, self-confidence, and leadership skills,” said MPP Gates. “This grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation will improve accessibility so that all people in the community will continue to be able to access the incredible supports and services BBBS has to offer. I want to thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation for their important partnership, and the staff and volunteers at BBBS for the incredibly valuable work they do ever single day.”
The St. Catharines Big Brothers Big Sisters location includes two meeting rooms utilized for mentorship programs, building relationships, providing services and trainings with children, youth, families and volunteers, a family waiting area, and offices for a number of BBBS Staff.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters would not have been able to make these critical facility improvements without support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation,” said Erin Graybiel, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Niagara. “These accessibility improvements will ensure children, youth, families, volunteers, donors, and staff members are able to easily access the St. Catharines facility and be involved in BBBS mentorship programs and services! Big Brothers Big Sisters is an inclusive organization that is open to all, and these improvements allow our St. Catharines facility to reflect our values.”
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Niagara For 85 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been making a meaningful difference in the lives of youth ages 6 to 18 through our mentoring programs in Niagara. For both Big and Little, the mentoring experience becomes a life-changing relationship built on friendship, empowerment, and trust. Support from a caring adult mentor enables youth to experience essential developmental relationships, which help them to develop into healthy young people better able to deal with and overcome life’s adversities. Youth with mentors are more likely to graduate from high school, go to university, secure full time employment and have on average higher incomes. For more information visit, https://niagara.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca/ .
About the Ontario Trillium Foundation The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations, celebrates 40 years of grant-making in Ontario and making a lasting impact in communities. Last year, OTF invested over $110M into 1,022 community projects and partnerships. Visit otf.ca to learn more.