Feature Story Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Hoops of Hope
Kids are waiting two-three years to get a mentor into their lives, Purple Net Project hopes to change that June 1
Whitney Sundman/Big Brothers Big Sisters/Submitted and website photos
Purple Net Project recognizes value of volunteer mentors around the Lower Mainland June 1.
s excitement for summer and outdoor sports ramps up, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fraser Valley is launching the Purple Net Project this June; an initiative that connects Bigs and Littles through basketball.
on a symbolic connection between basketball hoops without nets and
kids without positive role models, the campaign raises awareness for
Big Brothers Big Sisters’ need of volunteers in Fraser Valley.
There is currently a two to three-year wait list of children in areas like Mission and Maple Ridge – most of whom have been waiting so long that they are at risk of never being able to receive a mentor at all. These children are in their formative years, and could really benefit from a mentor as they go through adolescence.
The goal of the Purple Net Project is to raise awareness of the need for local mentors. "I hope potential volunteers will see the purple nets around town and it will spark conversations about the need to support our local youth,” says Cassie Silva, Mentoring Coordinator for Mission/Ridge Meadows area of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fraser Valley. “I see boys on my wait list shooting basketballs by themselves on the court beside my office and none of the hoops have nets. I look forward to the day when the right Big Brother comes along and the two of them can play basketball together - and maybe even hang a purple net together to help more kids get mentors!"
The story will be brought to life this June as Bigs, Littles, and Swishin’ Mission hang 40 purple nets around the service areas of Big Brothers of the Fraser Valley, including Ridge Meadows, Mission, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, and Fraser Cascade. A net will be hung for the first 40 volunteer inquiries we receive in the month of June. Follow Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fraser Valley’s social channels starting June 1st to watch the campaign unfold. Inquire to be a volunteer and mention “purple net” for the chance to have a purple net hung to recognize our volunteers.
Teens and adults looking to make a difference can sign up to become a Big Brother or Big Sister by visiting mentoringworks.ca. Purple nets are ready to be hung across the city, and with the support of #SwishinMission will soon hang like flags as a symbol of the impact of mentoring relationships.
Meanwhile, anyone who spots a net-less hoop around the Fraser Valley can tag Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fraser Valley on social media with the hashtag #purplenetproject and Swishin’ Mission and/or a Big and Little will help re-net the first 40 net-less hoops we hear about across the Fraser Valley.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fraser Valley’s mentoring program provide young people with a positive role model and a friend to talk to and share the experiences of growing up with. Through regular outings, a friendship is developed between the Big and Little, that is built on trust and common interests. The result is a life-changing experience for both the mentor and the mentee. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fraser Valley proudly operates across the Fraser Valley from Pitt Meadows to Chilliwack and Agassiz, and has a wide range of volunteer opportunities available, group and one-on-one.