BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF AMERICA STARTING SOMETHING SINCE 1904

At Big Brothers Big Sisters, we’ve been impacting the lives of children for over 100 years. And we’re just getting started.

100 YEARS OF HISTORY
For over a century, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been helping change kids’ perspectives and giving them the opportunity to reach their potential. And we have over a century of volunteers, donors, and advocates just like you to thank.

It all started in 1904, when a young New York City court clerk named Ernest Coulter was seeing more and more boys come through his courtroom. He recognized that caring adults could help many of these kids stay out of trouble, and he set out to find volunteers. That marked the beginning of the Big Brothers movement.

At around the same time, the members of a group called Ladies of Charity were befriending girls who had come through the New York Children’s Court. That group would later become Catholic Big Sisters.

Both groups continued to work independently until 1977, when Big Brothers Association and Big Sisters International joined forces and became Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

More than 100 years later, Big Brothers Big Sisters remains true to our founders’ vision of bringing caring role models into the lives of children. And, today, Big Brothers Big Sisters currently operates in all 50 states—and in 12 countries around the world.

1904
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Begins.
1984
Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County starts when Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church establishes a mentoring program for youth and seniors.
1993
Program is split: Senior Services for the elderly; Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County for youth.
1994
One full-time BBBS-McHenry employee serves youth through community-based mentoring.
1998
Grows to include 16 school-based programs.
2003
Reaches enrollment high of 283 Littles.
2004
Receives a grant to serve Littles coping with parental incarceration.
2010-2012
Initiates a quality-improvement program that results in better outcomes.
2013
Develops improved safety measures for Littles.
2015-2016
Receives BBBSA Quality Awards for high number of children served as well as retention and match-support rates exceeding national requirements.