received a $1,000 grant from the Allstate Foundation. The nonprofit received the grant through the efforts of Allstate Insurance Company Agent David Brand, who volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Brand, a New City agent, received the Agency Hands in the Community Award for his commitment to volunteering locally. Big Brothers Big Sisters President/CEO Gillian Ballard said Brand, who has volunteered with the organization for several years, is a motivational speaker who meets with students in the school based “Rockland County Mentoring Collaborative School Based Program.”
“I get a high level of satisfaction from being able to not only provide funding but also hopefully have an impact on the lives of some of the underprivileged kids in the area,” said Brand.
During Wednesday’s announcement, Ballard said the funds would be directed to the program that Brand volunteers with.
“We’re applying it to the school based program,” she explained. “With that we will be able to sustain the program because we were cut 25 percent for the program for 2012.”
Ballard said the program relies primarily on state government funding. However she and Bob Barilli, vice chair of the board of directors, said grants and money from private foundations have helped make up the shortfall.
25 Spring Valley High School students are enrolled in the program, which is held at Dominican College.
“It’s a peer mentoring program and the Dominican College students are the peer mentors,” she said. “We’ve been operating it for at least 16 years.”
Ballard said cutbacks make fundraising very important.
“We’re very concerned here during these troubling economic times,” she said.
Big Brothers Big Sisters holds its largest fundraiser of the year, the annual golf classic, on July 16 at the New York Country Club.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is a national organization that makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers known as “Bigs” and children called “Littles,” who are between six and 18 years old. The other programs of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rockland County include JUMP, Boys Council Program, Nyack College Scholarship, Rockland Community College Scholarship and Mentoring Children of Prisoners Program.