Big Sisters feels incredibly lucky to have so many dedicated and engaged supporters, many of whom go above and beyond expectations to make the important work they do possible. Each year, we celebrate these supporters by presenting them each a Big Heart Award. In 2018, we were lucky enough to have three volunteers and one organization to celebrate.
Windsor Plywood Foundation
Windsor Plywood Foundation has been an integral part of the Big Sisters community, helping to sustain our mentoring programs since 2011. Over the past seven years, Windsor Plywood Foundation has contributed a total of $218,000 to give girls in our programs the chance to see and achieve their full potential.
Randall and Fran Jones launched this foundation because they noticed a need to give back in the communities where their business was flourishing. And, Windsor Plywood Foundation continues to give back year after year. This couple is incredibly caring, tremendously generous, and overwhelmingly kind.
Their legacy continues through their children, and, the apples don’t fall far from the tree. We are so thankful and honoured to present a Big Heart Award to the Windsor Plywood Foundation.
Martina Lee embodies Big Sisters in every sense of the phrase. She’s dedicated, loyal, generous, inclusive, uplifting, and empowering. She’s been a Big Sister mentor for almost 12 years; served on our Board of Directors for eight years; supports all our events as a committee member, participant, and donor; and contributes her professional skills and personal network to set us up for success.
Martina is always willing and ready to speak about the impact Big Sisters has on young people, and her passion for mentorship shines through when she tells her story. All this, and she never expects anything in return.
As a Big Sister, Martina has been a positive influence in her Little Sister Masha’s life. Masha attributes Martina as a major catalyst for her bright confidence and continues to provide consistent motivation for Masha to reach her full potential. In the photo above, you’ll see a joy between the two that demonstrates just how much they care for each other. This lifelong connection is what Big Sisters is all about—and it comes naturally to Martina.
Here’s to a true Big Sister, friend, and mentor, Martina Lee.
Sharon Makina has helped shape what the Go Girls program is today. She is truly an outstanding, inspiring, and “extra” mentor.
We say she is “extra” because she has built positive relationships with over 50 Go Girls participants, to whom she has role modeled and encouraged positive self-esteem, confidence, and healthy behaviours.
She is “extra” because she has volunteered to facilitate every single Go Girls training session since she first became a mentor; that’s about 80 fellow Go Girls volunteers that she has personally trained and encouraged to become the best mentors they can be.
Sharon is “extra” because she is willing to facilitate Go Girls at two schools in the same term, to commute to any school needing a mentor, no matter the distance, and to volunteer for 15 hours in the same day—which she has done twice.
On top of all this, Sharon is also a Big Sisters ambassador, has assisted with data entry, volunteered at special events, participated and raised funds through Big Yoga, and the list goes on.
We can always, always count on her to be there, to sign up, to help, to lead, to inspire, to be “extra.” Her name may be spelled Sharon but as she will tell you, it’s pronounced Beyonce.
We are incredibly grateful to know her and to have her on our team of mentors.
Our many match activities that are organized by volunteers often help strengthen the bond between the Big and Little. Another Big Heart Award goes to a volunteer whose lead over 70 of those match activities.
Leah Campbell has dedicated a tremendous amount of her time to make sure these events are successful and that our matches have fun. As Chair of the Activities Committee for six years, she has always shown deep care and compassion when organizing match activities in the community. We’re truly lucky to have her leadership in this role.
And, on top of all that, she’s a Big Sister herself, matched with her Little for seven years. It’s a pleasure to award Leah Campbell with a Big Heart Award.