BOSTON (CBS) – Each month, WBZ Cares highlights a worthy non-profit organization, and tells the story of what that organization does for the community.
This month’s organizations, “Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay,” matches children from ages 6 to 14 with volunteer mentors and The Big Brother Big Sister Foundation, acts as the fundraising branch.
The Foundation dedicates resources to support Big Brother Big Sister organizations in Greater Boston and Southern New Hampshire. Their mission is to raise money for these agencies by helping the community to “Clean Up Clutter For a Good Cause!”
Additionally, it donates thousands of warm winter coats to children and adults in low-income areas. They donate school supplies, from backpacks to chalk, to schools in their collection area. During times of need, they donate clothing, shoes and housewares to families in need.
“We are the organization that has the Big Blue Trucks,” said Steve Beck, Director for Big Brother Big Sister Foundation.
A fleet of sixteen donation trucks are out on the roads daily, collecting used clothing, shoes, toys, books and small appliances, from thousands of homes all over Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire.
Gently used items are picked up at a home’s doorstep and brought back a huge hectic warehouse. Thousands of pounds of donated items enter on one side of the warehouse and leave right back out the other side daily.
Beck says those items are loaded into tractor-trailers and shipped off to thrift store chains which buy the goods in bulk.
“We’ll send 40,000 out to New York today, Friday [and] we will get a check for however much money that is,” said Beck.
“I’m very happy to say we get the highest price for our clothing, in the country. Massachusetts people are a little more affluent a little more educated and the quality of goods is good. And the mix of goods is really great,” he said.
The money raised goes to fund Big Brother Big Sister of Massachusetts Bay along with several other Big Brother Big Sister mentoring programs.
According to Beck, nearly $600,000 to a million dollars is raised annually from donation sales.
“That’s a lot of kids that get a big Brother and a Big Sister,” he said.
The Foundation also has two dozen telemarketers who answer and make calls to thousands of homes a day asking for donations.
For Monica Dunning who heads the telemarketing department for the foundation, seeing children paired up with a mentor makes it all worthwhile.
“I’m fortunate enough to be the youngest of seven children, so I know what it is like to have a big brother and big sisters. I just couldn’t imagine my life without them. And I can’t imagine a child not having somebody like that guide them.” she said.