Children will be Served by Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State

CRANSTON, RI – As reported last week, Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern Connecticut chapter announced their closing on October 31st due to  funding issues leaving  approximately 50 children and their mentors without a program.

However, as of November 1st, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State will begin to provide support services to the existing children and families enrolled in Southeastern Connecticut’s mentoring program as well as continue to operate the Donation Center program.

According to Deborah Saunders, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State, ‘we have the resources and the ability to support those already enrolled.  Matches will be ‘re-opened’ by BBBSOS which will require an assessment and acceptance into the RI based program. We have a long history of partnering with BBBS-SECT through our Donation Center business; this is a continuation and expansion of an already well-established relationship with Ct families.’

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State is a separate affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and offers mentoring programs to children throughout Rhode Island and neighboring Massachusetts towns.

Since 1998, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State has partnered with the Southeastern Connecticut affiliate to run the donation collection program which collects gently-used clothing and household items for resale to support the mentoring programs run separately by each organization in its assigned coverage area.   Items donated to the Big Brothers Big Sisters donation center are sold at Savers thrift stores throughout Rhode Island, and these proceeds are used to support the mentoring programs.  In the last 15 years, this donation collection program has successfully raised thousands of dollars that have gone to directly support children in Southeastern Connecticut and Rhode Island.

With the closure of the Southeastern Connecticut affiliate in October, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State plans to begin providing support services to those individuals who are currently involved in the Southeastern Connecticut mentoring programs.

Lori Viner, Operations Manager , said “We will also continue to operate the donation center program in Southeastern Connecticut so that residents can take advantage of our free convenient home pick-up service and continue to support the Ct. children who benefit from the mentoring programs.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State serves over 500 children and families annually. This chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters has shown continued growth throughout the years. Through its innovative partnership with Savers and with a combination of convenient home pick-ups, clothing bins strategically placed throughout the state, and targeted corporate and community sponsored clothing drives, the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State’s 6 Donation Centers creates a sustained source of revenue that directly supports the mentoring program of the agency in Rhode Island, neighboring cities of Massachusetts and Southeastern Ct.  A clear indication of continued growth and stability is shown on their 2011 annual report, ( with total revenue of $892,887 and expenses of $792,542.

The agency was honored in 2012 with a prestigious “Gold Standard Award” identifying it as one of the top agencies in the nation and was awarded the Providence Business News ‘Non Profit of the Year Award’ in 2012.

Information about donating gently used clothing and miscellaneous household items may be found by calling (401) 921-2434, toll free in Ct at 877-725-6843 or log on to the organization’s website at


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