Big Brothers and Sisters of Ottawa

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Ottawa logo. It is grey and teal.
Editor's Note

This profile originally appeared in the 2021 Giving Guide. Read the full magazine here.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa (BBBSO) enables life-changing mentoring relationships to ignite the power and potential of young people facing adversity. We carefully and intentionally place an additional, consistent, and supportive mentor in these young people’s lives.

Volunteer mentors are thoughtfully recruited based on the needs of local youth, and are professionally screened. The “Big” mentor, “Little” mentee, and family receive training and are monitored and supported by a designated professional caseworker.

An incredible transformation takes place when a young mentee is matched with an adult mentor who expresses care, challenges their growth, provides support, shares power, and expands their possibilities. These mentees build the life skills they need to be successful. We also see positive changes to their mental health, well-being, educational engagement, and employment readiness.

BBBSO has been creating youth mentorship matches in Ottawa for 51 years, and Renfrew County for six years. We offer our traditional 1:1 Bigs mentorship program, along with programming for elementary and secondary school students, youth in care, and young adults aged 18-24, with a strong focus on diversity and inclusion.

At a glance:

Year founded: 1970

Total revenue for last fiscal year: $1,168,004

Twitter: @BBBSO

Facebook: /BBBSO

Instagram: @bbbsottawa

Geographic region of focus: Ottawa and Renfrew County

Top funding sources:

  • Government Funding 56%
  • Foundations and Other Charities 23%
  • Individual Donors 11%
  • Corporate Donations & Events 8%
  • Social Enterprise 2%

How you can help

Give

Young people need your help now. When you donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa, you invest in a young person’s potential and shape the future of the Ottawa community. Your donation gives local young people facing adversity access to a supportive adult mentor who spends meaningful, consistent and dedicated time with them. For every $1 donated, there is a social return on investment of $23 as our “Littles” grow up to be happy, successful adults who give back by volunteering or donating themselves.

To make a one-time or monthly gift, please visit bbbso.ca or contact moniquef@bbbso.ca.

Volunteer

We depend on volunteer mentors for both community-based and in-school programs, and are pleased to offer virtual options. For as little as one hour a week, you can make a meaningful difference in the life of a child. There are also opportunities to volunteer for fundraising events, our Clothes For Kids Sake program, our Board of Directors and on various committees.

A group of people — both adults and children — stand in front of the Ottawa sign downtown.
BBBSO Board members, staff, Bigs and Littles were joined by Mayor Jim Watson for a Big Brothers Big Sisters Month celebration in September.

Events and fundraising

Power of Mentoring Project

Help youth aged 15-24 with career-readiness and skill building by participating in sector-themed speed mentoring sessions.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Virtual Breakfast Fundraiser

Rise and shine and make a BIG difference in your community. Join us virtually on November 23rd, with breakfast delivered to your door – enjoy while hearing incredible real-life stories from Bigs and Littles.

Holiday Hamper Program

Help our families over the holiday season by donating gift cards or dollars. Funds raised will give local families the ability to purchase food and gifts – ensuring they can have an enjoyable holiday celebration.

Thrive Select Thrift

Our online boutique thrift store has launched! The store is stocked with gently used clothing generously donated by community members. Organize a clothing drive or shop at thrivethrift.ca – 100% of proceeds support BBBSO youth mentorship programs.

Annual Big Tee Off

Register a team, become a sponsor or donate a silent auction item or prize for our annual golf tournament, and help support local youth.

TO PARTICIPATE OR SPONSOR:

Visit BBBSO.ca/ways-to-give/ or contact: Monique Flocco at moniquef@bbbso.ca or 613-247-4776 x 319

Board and executive members

Two pictures — one of a dark-haired man in a suit, and one of a blonde woman with glasses.
Mark Zekulin is the board president; Susan Ingram is the executive director.

Susan Ingram

Executive director

Mark Zekulin

Board President

Happy Roots Foundation

Emily Villeneuve

Past-President Department of Justice

Mitchell Carkner

Vice-President 

Decisive Group Inc.

Lindsay Ostrom

Treasurer

Ottawa Hospital

Mitchell Kutney

Bruyère

Michael Qaqish

Algonquin College

Matt Haddad

Ottawa Senators Hockey Club

Colin Anderson

OCDSB

Toni Francis

Parliamentary Protective Service

Ian Cascagnette 

Pythian

Keith Egli

City of Ottawa

Funmi Linuga

Kings Distributed Systems

Leslie Rae Ferat

Framework Convention Alliance

Phillip Shaer

Lawyer

Get in touch

12-1645 Woodroffe Ave.

Ottawa, ON

K2G 1W2

bbbso.ca

info@bbbso.ca

613-247-4776