In 1903, a young businessman by the name of Irvin Westeimer discovered a boy scrounging for food in a garbage can. He bought the boy dinner and began to offer him assistance. Afterwards, with the help of his friend, Westeimer began counseling local boys who had no fathers. This development eventually led to the first Big Brother group in Cincinnati in 1903.
In 1909, Big Brothers Movement, Inc., of New York began the first formal organization of its kind. In 1917, the organization then became known as the Big Brother/Big Sister Federation upon recognizing a similar need for young girls.
Locally, Big Brothers of Mahoning County was incorporated October 13, 1969 to provide guidance and friendship to younger boys. In 1977, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mahoning Valley began serving both boys and girls in Mahoning and Trumbull Counties.
Today, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mahoning Valley currently serves the Valley by providing volunteer role models to children in need of a mentor. These volunteers are interviewed, screened, and trained by the staff of Big Brothers Big Sisters. After the intake process, the volunteers provide guidance, increase self-esteem, and assist the child in the day-to-day challenges that they face.
Since 1969, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mahoning Valley has made an impact on the lives of children in this community. With the need at its greatest level, we are challenged to provide services to every child and parent requesting assistance. Our goal is to continue to grow the agency and develop quality programs for the entire Mahoning Valley.