Big Brothers Big Sisters Donation a ‘Game Changer’

By Beacon Staff

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flathead County received the largest donation in its 34-year history Monday when Eisinger Automotive Group donated the group $25,000.

“This is a tremendous donation, not just for our organization, but for the kids,” Big Brothers Big Sisters Executive Director Tim Sievers said. “This donation is a game changer.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters matches children with volunteers, who give guidance and serve as role models. Locally, the group offers community-based and a school-based programs. According to the nonprofit, 85 percent of children who have participated in the programs demonstrate improved confidence; 76 percent do better in school; and 79 percent have a better attitude about education. Sievers said that there are about 40 children in the Flathead Valley waiting to be matched with a mentor.

But for that to happen, Sievers and his staff must review potential matches and make sure they are a good fit. That takes time and money, something not always available in these tough economic times, he said.

“This is a time of uncertainty and the biggest challenge is finding money and mentors,” Sievers said, adding that it’s the same for all area nonprofit groups.

Ben Eisinger of Eisinger Honda said the dealership gave out almost $40,000 overall in 2011, mostly in small donations. This year, Eisinger said the company wanted to make a donation big enough to make a difference. When talking to people about which group to donate to, he said Big Brothers Big Sisters came up frequently.

“The end result I hope for is that this donation allows Big Brothers Big Sisters to be able to to do their job and find good mentors for kids,” Eisinger said.

For more information about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flathead County, visit www.bbbsfc.org.