Big Brothers Big Sisters of TX Panhandle closing offices, limiting mentorships

Financial difficulties have prompted the move
VIDEO: Big Brothers Big Sisters of TX Panhandle closing offices, limiting mentorships
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 10:02 AM CDT|Updated: May. 23, 2022 at 5:15 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Texas Panhandle said they are scaling back their organization due to financial limitations.

The agency is closing their physical offices in Potter, Randall, Hansford and Ochiltree Counties. BBBS is also limiting mentorships, which cost $1,200 per match for the first year.

“Matches that are currently active will stay open, but new enrollments will be limited,” read a statement from the agency.

The organization has served the Texas Panhandle since 1961, matching mentors with over 18,000 children during that time.

“We’ve operated out of our reserves the last couple of years, but now we’re at critical levels and we need funding to continue for another 61 years in this community. It’s a hard decision to make but we’re doing everything we can to keep this agency open because the community needs us,” said Leah Seymour, board president for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Texas Panhandle.

The agency depends on grants, fundraisers and donations from the community.

“We’re just trying to be very strategic in how we grow and how we go forward but the number one piece of that is fundraising and having the funds to remain open,” states Seymour.

BBBS said fundraising efforts were reduced in 2020 and 2021, and the issue affected their ability to serve children in the program. The trend has continued into 2022, prompting the agency to scale back.

“We want to be here long term. We’re really exploring all different options for long term sustainability. In adding fundraisers, adding events, creating new partnerships and strengthening ones we already have. It’s going to take a culmination of all those to make sure we’re still here in 61 years,” says Seymour.

Over the next two years, the agency said they will focus on fund development so they can continue to serve children in need.

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