Monthly Archives: July 2009

Our 21st Annual BMW Raffle to Support our Mentoring Programs

Big Sister's 2008 BMW Raffle

Big Sister Association of Greater Boston is currently holding our 21st annual BMW Raffle. Each year, during the summer months, Big Sister employees drive a brand new red BMW convertible to various downtown locations to sell raffle tickets. One day they may be on Federal Street, another on Summer Street, or perhaps they’re in Faneuil Hall—even on a Saturday. Most of Big Sister’s employees aren’t fundraisers, they’re social workers. They’re out there every day, rain or shine, selling tickets because they know that with every $1,000 that they raise (that’s 10 tickets sold), there’s the opportunity to take a girl off the waitlist and match her with a caring, supportive adult mentor. The agency charges no fees to the girls or their families for their services. It costs Big Sister Association an average of $1,000 to make and support a Big and Little Sister match. This money goes toward hiring and retaining skilled social workers who play an integral role in the success of the match.

Most people might assume that with the current economic situation and all the rainy days that Big Sister Association has had to contend with, ticket sales must be as bleak as the weather. It’s true; ticket sales aren’t as robust as previous years. But, there is something else going on in downtown Boston this summer, a silver lining amidst dreary weather and a drearier economy. What is that something? Simply put: goodwill. Even in these tough economic times, as folks scale back their purchases and worry about keeping their jobs, some people are still giving to those who need it the most.

Take for instance Mike Mepham, a 27 year old businessman working at Retail-Convergence, who stopped at One Beacon Street on a rainy Tuesday to buy a ticket. As he was writing a check for $100 he said to the social worker, “Everyone who can should donating money to charities like this, now more than ever.” Then there was Jeff McCormick, chairman and managing general partner of Saturn Partners, out to grab lunch by Post Office Square. He noticed a young man with a broken down car sitting on the sidewalk in the middle of the Financial District. That young man is Hieu Nguyen of Dorchester, who sat for what seemed like an eternity waiting for a tow truck. McCormick walked by Nguyen and then noticed the red, shiny BMW across the street. He turned around and asked Hieu to take a walk with him to see the car. As Hieu and McCormick approached the car and the Big Sister employee selling tickets, McCormick said “I want to buy a raffle ticket for this young man. He needs a new car.” McCormick dropped a crisp $100 bill on the table and walked away.

Finally, there was a woman, name unknown, who approached the raffle ticket seller at One Boston Place. She smiled at the Big Sister employee and handed her $100 in cash for one raffle ticket. When asked for her name, the woman said, “Put this raffle ticket in the name of someone in Boston who needs a new car or $38,000.”

Only 1,750 tickets can be sold, creating great odds for the ticket purchaser and the potential for raising $137,000 to support the girls of Greater Boston. What would Big Sister do with $137,000? We would hire more professional social workers to make and support the Big and Little Sister matches. We would create more mentoring programs to better serve our City’s neighborhoods. In short, these crucial funds would create opportunities for the girls in our City who are most in need of the loving, caring attention of an adult.

But…with only 2 weeks left, only about 1,000 tickets have been sold. So, it’s time to buy a ticket and help us raise money for our mentoring programs for girls. Go to and make your purchase today! And, if you know someone who needs a new car or $38,000, let Big Sister know by July 28. We will select one person, 18 years or older, to enter the raffle. Write to us at Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, 161 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. The drawing will be held at Faneuil Hall on July 31 at 1:00 p.m.

Sure, you’re taking a gamble, but if you’re going to take a chance right now, why not on the success of our City’s girls? Resources in Boston may be tight, but goodwill is not in short supply.

Big Sister Enters the Blogosphere!

Welcome to Big Sister’s blog, bigsisterboston!  We strive to create a community among all our supporters:  donors, volunteers, staff, board members, community partners, Little Sisters and their families, and advocates for girls and mentoring.  Without you we could not do the important work of putting caring, supportive woman mentors in the lives of Greater Boston’s girls.  Our blog will be another way for us to stay connected to you.  We’ll post fundraising events, issues affecting girls, advice for our volunteers, and any news relating to Big Sister Association of Greater Boston. 

We invite you to get involved as well!  Your voice matters and we would love to hear what you have to say.  We welcome you to leave comments on our posts.  Pass along our blog address or link to it from your own blog or website.  Write  your own blog entry on something relating to girls, mentoring, or Big Sister, that you think is important.  While we cannot guarantee that we will publish all entries that are sent to us, we are eager to hear from you!  Please send all entries to

And for now, please enjoy our blog as you continue to support our City’s girls!