Yesterday, we kicked off our season of Open House events by inviting Trane out to the Oliver Hill House for lunch. Now, Trane is no stranger to Big Brothers Big Sisters. For the past 2 years, they have organized the Mark Donihe Memorial Golfish Tournament, which raises money for BBBS in loving memory of Mark Donihe, Trane employee and devoted Big Brother who passed away suddenly in January 2012. His Little Brother Antonio (who isn’t so little anymore) was even able to take a break from work and join us. By inviting people in to our world, I was reminded of the incredible community we are able to be a part of, and how much I want to share that with the rest of Southwest Virginia. Opening the House seems like the most effective way to do that.
1. People can Ask Questions
I intended for the Open House to be a presentation, but very quickly it turned into a lively conversation about our goals and vision for the agency and how we could work together to make that happen. The intimate setting (there were only 8 of us) fostered questions that I would have never even thought to cover in a presentation, but were essential for everyone to understand our programs and the impact they have on kids in the community. In our future Open House events, my intention is for the conversation to flow freely and the enthusiasm to ring throughout the house.
2. People can See the Impact
When I look around the Oliver Hill House, I can physically see the impact BBBS is making on the kids in our community. Just having an inviting, safe place to come to once a week is impactful enough, but the next year is going to be full of fun mini-field trips, life-changing lessons, and the beginnings of lasting friendships between Littles and their Bigs. When people come over for Open House events, I want them to see the importance of our organization in the lives of children and picture themselves being a part of it.
3. We can Invite People into our Community
We were so excited that Antonio (Mark’s Little Brother) was able to join us yesterday. He is truly a BBBS success story if I ever saw one. He came from a single parent household, but he also had a second family in Mark. Now, Antonio works at the Sheriff’s office, protecting the people in situations that he was able to overcome through Big Brothers Big Sisters. As we all talked, I thought to myself, we are all a part of something really special, really monumental. All we had to do was to walk into the open door. More people need to experience this.
Our Open House events are just that; they are open to anyone who wants to see what we are doing. There are no obligations, and we are not asking for anything. We just want the chance to share our story with you. Please join us every Thursday (starting today) until the end of 2013 at 12pm at 401 Gilmer Avenue. Bring your lunch, and spend a little while with us; ask questions, see the impact, and join our one-of-a-kind community.