Youth HQ and Big Brothers Big Sisters Red Deer is stepping up for their fallen partners in Innisfail.
The board of BBBS Prairies to Peaks, which serviced Innisfail, Bowden, Olds, Penhold and Spruce View for 30 years, voted last month to shut the organization's doors citing insurmountable financial struggles.
Jacquie Boyd, Executive Director of Youth HQ, says the situation is very unfortunate.
"Not only do we believe, but we have research to prove the value that mentoring programs have for children and youth," says Boyd. "It's with sad hearts, both there and here, that it was a necessity for them to close their doors."
Programming in the Innisfail area includes in-school teen mentoring, adult mentoring, and the traditional one-on-one matches between an adult and a youth.
"Our board has committed to take on the traditional and community matches to lessen the impact to the community of Innisfail and surrounding areas," Boyd adds. "In addition, we are assessing our capabilities to assist those communities [further], and so we are working with the funders, such as FCSS in Innisfail, FCSS Red Deer and District, as well as dealing with other potential funders to see if we can raise sufficient funds to provide additional supports to the community."
There has been confusion on local social media pages today surrounding the future of BBBS in Red Deer. Boyd says there is no chance whatsoever that they are closing down.
"As an organization, we've been around a long time (40 years), and so had the other, but no, we're not in that positition, nor are we close to it," she says.
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