FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Update: Federal Funding Budget Cuts Impacts BBBSOK
BBBSOK recently received confirmation that due to federal cuts to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) budget, HHS eliminated all funding for its Mentoring Children of Prisoners Program. Therefore, funding for the first year (through 9/30/11) of the $1.6M “Amachi” program grant awarded to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma (BBBSOK) last fall is secure, but funding for years two and three (10/1/11-9/30/13) is no longer available. This is a small portion of the entire $40M program that impacts Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies across the nation.
We thank all of you who contacted your Congressman and shared your plea to keep this funding secure. Though this outcome is not what we hoped for, please know that your outreach inspired us and we are deeply grateful for your support and advocacy.
Oklahoma’s incarceration rates are the highest for women and 3rd highest for men per capita in the nation. There are at least 27,000 children in Oklahoma that have one or both parents in prison today. We are as committed as ever to serving these vulnerable children and changing the way they grow up in Oklahoma. While the funding cuts may somewhat impact our ability to do so, our current situation inspires us to reach out to our existing and new supporters and share our critical mission and incredible outcomes.
Though BBBSOK will realize a loss of approximately $150,000 in Q4 2011 and approximately $600,000 in 2012, we are fortunate to have some advance notice before the cuts are effective in October, and are looking into many new funding and partnership opportunities. Plans are well underway to secure replacement funding for this year and next, and our goal is to continue to support all of our mentoring programs.
How Can You Help?
Donate. You may already be a donor or know of someone that would enjoy supporting the work you do as a volunteer mentor. Make a donation on our website: one time gift, monthly gift, or as a gift in honor/memory of someone else.
Advocate. Help spread the word about BBBSOK with your friends, family and coworkers.
• Like us on Facebook.
• Follow us on Twitter.
• Invite us to speak at your work, church or networking group.
• Tell your story. People love to hear about your Big/Little adventures. It helps them really grasp the impact and how it’s everyday people, like you, who get involved.
Please see the Contact Us on our website to contact your local BBBSOK agency.
Start Something special for Oklahoma’s children today!