Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region Receives $30,000 Grant from Walmart Foundation for Bigs in Blue Program

Posted On On: January 24, 2018 Categories Filed Under: Member News


Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region Receives $30,000 Grant from Walmart Foundation for Bigs in Blue Program 

Mentorship program connects local law enforcement officers with at-risk youth. 

Harrisburg, Pa. (Jan. 23, 2018) — Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region (BBBSCR) today received a major grant from the Walmart Foundation to support its Bigs in Blue program, which connects local law enforcement officers as mentors to youth facing adversity to foster relationships that promote stability, trust and long-term success in the lives of children.

Pictured: Attending dignitaries from Walmart including Assistant Store Manager Andrew Simms (far left) and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region VP of Program, Amy Rote (far right).

The presentation was hosted by D. Jonathan Fried, Principal at Tri-Community School, part of the Central Dauphin School District. The Bigs in Blue Program began in 2016 with the Swatara Police Department and Central Dauphin School District. At that time, the partnership was the first of its kind in Central Pennsylvania and used a new national model developed by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Chief Darrell R. Reider, Swatara Township Police Department, and several officers participating in the program also attended the grant presentation.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters is deeply grateful to the Walmart Foundation for this very generous grant today. Our program relies on grants from generous community partners, such as the Walmart Foundation, as well as contributions to support new initiatives like Bigs in Blue and maintain the hundreds of matches we manage every year. This grant means that we can continue to provide services to the Bigs in Blue matches created between Tri-Community School in Steelton and the Swatara Police Department,” said BBBSCR Chief Executive Officer Maddie Young.

The Bigs in Blue initiative involves a mentor (called a Big) and mentee (called a Little) working together as a match. Participating police officers visit with their Littles several times a month at the child’s school – usually during breakfast or lunch. This helps students develop self-confidence, avoid risk-taking behaviors, and improve academics and health and wellness. Officers interact not only with their Littles but with other students as well. The initiative provides opportunities for police officers to better understand the challenges facing children in the communities they protect and serve, enhancing the lines of communication within communities.

“The opportunity to see our local law enforcement heroes make a difference in the lives of children is inspirational and also highlights the amazing work that is done every day by Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Capital Region,” said Walmart Market Manager Brooks Rutledge. “The positive influence made by the Bigs in Blue program goes beyond today or tomorrow; it transcends generations and will benefit mentors and mentees who participate for the rest of their lives. Walmart is honored to support a program that uplifts our communities’ greatest and most prized treasures – its children.”

For more than 35 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region has provided professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that help to change the lives of thousands of children for the better, forever. Serving Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and Perry counties, Big Brothers Big Sisters offers both community-based and site-based mentoring for at-risk youth.

The Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region’s grant was made possible through the Walmart Foundation’s Pennsylvania State Giving Program, which strives to award grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities.

To be considered for support, prospective grantee organizations must submit applications through the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program’s online grant application. Applicants must have a current 501(c) 3 tax-exempt status in order to meet the program’s minimum eligibility criteria. Additional information about the program’s funding guidelines and application process are available

online at 



About Philanthropy at Walmart:

By using our strengths to help others, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation create opportunities for people to live better every day. We have stores in 28 countries, employing more than 2.2 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people.

We are helping people live better by accelerating upward job mobility and economic development for the retail workforce; addressing hunger and making healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality; and building strong communities where we operate and inspiring our associates to give back. Whether it is helping to lead the fight against hunger in the United States with $2 billion in cash and in-kind donations or supporting Women’s Economic Empowerment through a series of grants totaling $10 million to the Women in Factories training program in Bangladesh, China, India and Central America, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are not only working to tackle key social issues, we are also collaborating with others to inspire solutions for long-lasting systemic change. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit


About Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region (BBBSCR) provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. For more than 35 years, BBBSCR has kept its promise by expertly crafting and maintaining compatible mentoring matches between Littles (at-risk youth) and Bigs (mature volunteers) in Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and Perry counties. Our commitment includes using evidence-based best practices to achieve personalized outcomes and support matches throughout their life (one to ten years). Contributions in all forms are vital to fulfilling the agency’s mission. BBBSCR is a 501(c)(3) charity, registered with the PA Bureau of Charities, and an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. For more information, visit the BBBSCR website at


CONTACT:       Sue Stuart, CFRE, for Big Brothers Big Sisters Capital Region

P: 717-236-0199 ext. 226


Michael Rodriguez, for Walmart

P: 717-303-5556