COVID-19 makes ‘Big’ hit to non-profit

Community Shine On

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pictou County is among the non-profits that have been hard hit by the COVID-19 virus.

Not only are its mentoring programs suspended due to schools being out for at least an extra couple of weeks after March Break, and programs being suspended due to public health protocols of social distancing, but the agency’s biggest fundraiser — Bowl for Kids Sake — has been postponed.

The annual fundraiser was scheduled to take place Saturday, April 4, at Heather Lanes bowling alley in New Glasgow. As of yet, there is no date for the event to be re-scheduled.

The agency’s in-school Wii bowling school challenge also had to be postponed. This event is held annually in the leadup to Superbowl Saturday on April 4.

“We’re taking it day by day,” executive director Margie Grant-Walsh said when contacted by phone. “Once everything settles down, we’ll make contact with the bowling alley and make a plan from there.”

A post on the agency’s website says: “It is with heavy hearts that we announce that we will be postponing Bowl for Kids Sake to a date to be announced. To everyone who has currently joined a team, please continue to fundraise. To anyone considering signing up, please do! We need you and we need your support. This is the largest fundraiser for our agency and the success of Bowl for Kids Sake is directly ties to how many youth we are able to serve in Pictou County.”

Grant-Walsh said, “We continue to follow all of the directives from government and our Board of Directors.”

Prior to the COVID-19 virus being declared a pandemic, the local agency was already enacting its own pandemic plans.

The social distancing being suggested by Pubic Health makes it difficult for ‘Bigs’ to mentor their ‘Littles’ but Grant-Walsh said the agency is finding alternate solutions for mentorship delivery. “We can’t do face to face but we can do face time, or connect through email or telephone.”

Fundraising for Bowl for Kids Sake can still be done online. Check out www.bbbsofpc.com.