114 Years of History…
For over a century, Big Brothers Big Sisters has used a proven formula for helping children make smarter choices and lead more successful lives.
In 1904, New York City court clerk Ernest Coulter was seeing more boys come through his courtroom. He recognized that caring adults could help many of these kids stay out of trouble, and he set out to find volunteers. That marked the beginning of the Big Brothers movement. Around the same time, members of Ladies of Charity were befriending girls who had come through the New York Children’s Court. That group would later become Catholic Big Sisters. Both groups continued to work independently until 1977, when Big Brothers Association and Big Sisters International joined forces and became Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
More than 100 years later, Big Brothers Big Sisters remains true to our founders’ vision of bringing caring role models into the lives of children. And, today, Big Brothers Big Sisters currently operates in all 50 states—and in 12 countries around the world.
50 Years Here in Chicago!
It started in Chicago in 1967. The first Board of Directors meeting was called to order at the Bismarck Hotel. Ernie Banks, the legendary “Mr. Cub,” was one of the first serving members, along with our longtime supporter John B. Hirsch, who still advises our programming team on the Board today.
In 2007, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Chicago expanded, acquiring DuPage County IL and Lake County Indiana and in 2010 Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lake County IL and BBBSMC merged with its corporate offices remaining in Chicago.
In the last 10 years, we have doubled the number of children served and plan to continuously grow our impact. With your help, we have an opportunity to affect an entire generation and the future of our community here in Chicago.