Big Brothers Big Sisters and National Mentoring Month


January is National Mentoring Month, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the 7 Rivers Region is pleased to announce the Donna Helble Memorial Fund for Mentoring. Throughout Donna Helble’s life, she displayed a true and unwavering support for mentoring and education. Organizers are pleased to announce the $100,000 endowment gift from the Donna Helble estate. The new fund is held at the Winona Community Foundation and will be utilized in support of the Winona office and operations.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is not just a feel-good program, it’s a proven program. Research shows that mentors play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible choices. Yet, the same research shows that one in three young people in the U.S. grow up without a mentor. In Winona, there are many youth waiting to benefit from a Big Brother or Sister.

Organizers are encouraging the public to go beyond just digital engagement and become involved in real life. The best way you can contribute to the mission of National Mentoring Month and the legacy of Donna Helble is by signing up to be a mentor yourself and directly impact the youth in your community. To become a “big” or learn more about this organization, visit or call 507-452-2227.

“We know that positive connection and relationships are often lacking in the lives of at-risk youth; we also now know that one of the best defenses against childhood trauma is to be connected to at least one safe, caring and reliable adult. This is why our mentors have such a huge impact on the lives of their Little Brothers and Sisters,” said Jason Larsen, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the 7 Rivers Region.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of the 7 Rivers Region

For almost 50 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the 7 Rivers Region has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. As the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“bigs”) and children (“littles”). Big Brothers Big Sisters provides a system of ongoing evaluation and support that is proven by independent studies to help families by improving the odds that “littles” will perform better in school and avoid violence and illegal activities, and have stronger relationships with their parents and others. To find out more information on volunteering or enrolling a child, please visit or call 608-782-2227.


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