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      Big Brothers Big Sisters taking a new direction

      A local non-profit agency is taking a new direction with its management. Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Central Illinois (BBBS) has currently elected Kathy Brink to serve as its interim director. She's replaced Jacksonville's Regional Director Jill Singleton who's been director for the past three years.

      We sat down with Brink Wednesday to find out what the future holds for BBBS. She says this change in management shouldn't affect the services provided by BBBS, but as always, more volunteers are needed.

      "We're looking toward the future, wanting to get some volunteers in here so we can match some of these 117 kids in Adams County. I know Morgan County has at least 100 on the waiting list," said Brink.

      "I love doing it. Every Tuesday I get together with Ashton," said Craig Holmann.

      Holmann's been a big brother for the last year, helping create a positive image in his 7-year-old "little" brother.

      "Somebody who's stable in their life is something that's definitely a plus. And he always likes to come over and and he's become part of the family," said Holmann.

      Craig and Ashton are one of many in the area who've been fortunate enough to get matched through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, but there are many more still waiting for that connection.

      "We have 73 boys and 43 girls on the waiting list and some of those boys have been on the list for more than a year," said Brink.

      That's just Adams County.

      The organization's financial situation isn't where it wants it to be either.

      "Our numbers are down a little bit. I think all the agencies have seen that," said Brink.

      However Brink says the last fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters (Bowl for Kids Sake) raised $60,000 which should help the program at least break even.

      "The statistics are just really almost shocking with the difference these big brother bog sisters make in these children's lives.They were three times more likely to go to college, earn a household income of $75,000 and to volunteer in the community," said Brink.

      This news is very rewarding to the volunteers in our community.

      "One day I brought ashton home, and my dad was mowing the lawn. He shook my dad's hand and said..."I think I'll call you dad too! (laughs)," said Holmann.

      Brink says you should see the open director position in your local newspapers as early as Wednesday.

      CONTACT: Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Central Illinois

      Jacksonville Office: 220 E. Morgan St., Jacksonville, IL 62650

      Tel 217.243.3821

      Fax 217.245.6499

      Quincy Office: 105 N. 12th St., Quincy, IL 62301

      Tel 217.223.5452

      Fax 217.223.5438