In 1969, Big Brothers of Nanaimo was formed. The first meeting was held in January at the Tally-Ho Lodge where approximately 25 people attended to hear the Provincial Director Frank Saunders explain the Big Brothers program. A Board of Directors was elected at this meeting and membership was granted in May 7, 1969. A fundraiser campaign was launched and the Board received the necessary funds to secure the organization’s operating costs for the first year. Shortly afterwards, recruitment of Big Brothers took place and matches with Little Brothers were formed. In 1979, Big Sister of Nanaimo was formed. Two members of the community started the organization after they discovered services for female youth were very limited. A steering committee was formed of ten women, the bylaw of the society were set and the organization was incorporated the following July. During the initial phase of setting up Big Sisters of Nanaimo, the steering committee consulted with Big Sisters of Victoria and Vancouver together with Big Brothers of Nanaimo to receive guidance and support. At the time 45 to 65 replies and referrals were estimated per year. The first public announcement of Big Sisters of Nanaimo was in May 1980 by way of newspaper articles setting out the objectives and other general information. The Big Sisters agency began recruiting shortly afterwards. In 2000, an amalgamation committee was formed by Board members of Big Brothers of Nanaimo and Big Sisters of Nanaimo. Their goal was to merge the two societies by developing a new constitution, bylaws and restructuring the Board and Staff in one year. On August 1, 2001 this amalgamation was completed and a new society was formed becoming Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Vancouver Island. In 2001, Parksville/Qualicum Beach Big Brothers and Sisters choose to merge with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Vancouver Island. Big Brothers and Sisters of Central Vancouver Island absorbed the existing matches and extended their area to include Parksville and Qualicum in September. Since 2001, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Vancouver Island has been growing and introducing new programs, such as In-School Mentoring, Teen Mentoring, Couples Mentoring and Go Girls, to the community. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Vancouver Island pioneered the first Teen Mentoring program in B.C. and since have mentored and trained other agencies in B.C. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Vancouver Island has received a number of awards, including the "Leadership and Excellence" and "Growth" award from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada in 2006. Also, School District #68 included the In-School Mentoring Program as one of the strategies that supports their goal of social responsibility in their District Performance Plan for 2004 - 2005. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Vancouver Island was granted Accreditation in 2007 having successfully met the review standards outlined by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada. The Accreditation certificate is granted upon approval of agency practices in the areas of child safety, service delivery, and organizational excellence. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Vancouver Island continues to uphold these standards and strives to achieve their vision, "Every child that needs a mentor, has a mentor".
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