PHILADELPHIA, April 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Orlando Magic franchise player and Olympic Gold Medalist Dwight Howard has joined Big Brothers Big Sisters as a celebrity ambassador in a viral PSA to support Start Something™, a national campaign urging all adults -- not just volunteers -- to support quality, long-term mentoring to help children who face adversity beat the odds. In conjunction with the recent launch of his new D12 Foundation, Howard has donated $10,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida and will soon promote the national mentoring network in a new national social media and viral Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign.
"I established my foundation to support organizations that are close to my heart and I'm challenging others to do the same," Howard said. "The Big Brothers Big Sisters team works endlessly to carefully match kids who face adversity with quality mentors. The staff then provides consistent support for the volunteers, children and their families so that the mentoring lasts and the outcomes are positive," he added.
The PSA, produced pro bono by the Connecticut School of Broadcasting – Atlanta, is being distributed virally throughout the nation through Big Brothers Big Sisters' 371 local mentoring agencies. The PSA will begin to appear on the organization's national and local social media sites and will be distributed to Bigs, Littles, donors and community partners to share with their friends, family and social media contacts.
"I think all kids need role models; my parents were mine. Now it's my turn, as a dad and also someone other kids look up to," Howard says in the PSA, which incorporates visuals from a visit to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Atlanta, where Howard grew up. "That's why I support Big Brothers Big Sisters; it's mentoring with dedicated staff support. It helps kids succeed in school and in life," Howard says in the PSA. "Every day, they come looking for role models, especially Big Brothers."
The nation's leader in quality one-to-one youth mentoring services, Big Brothers Big Sisters holds itself accountable for and is able to measure specific youth outcomes - educational achievement, avoidance of risky behaviors (especially juvenile delinquency), higher self-esteem, confidence and ability to relate to others. Start Something challenges Americans to visit BigBrothersBigSisters.org to get involved by donating, sharing mentoring success stories or volunteering. Increased funding will allow Big Brothers Big Sisters to carefully make more mentoring matches and provide ongoing assistance for mentors, mentees and families to help sustain long successful relationships unique to its programs.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters
For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters 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' mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.
Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs children ("Littles") with screened volunteer mentors ("Bigs") and monitors and supports them in one-to-one mentoring matches throughout their course. The organization holds itself accountable for children in the program to achieve measurable outcomes, such as higher aspirations; greater confidence and better relationships; educational success; and avoidance of delinquency and other risky behaviors. Most children served by Big Brothers Big Sisters are in single-parent and low-income families or households where a parent is incarcerated. Headquartered in Philadelphia with a network of approximately 370 agencies across the country, Big Brothers Big Sisters serves nearly 250,000 children. Learn how you can positively impact a child's life, donate, or volunteer at BigBrothersBigSisters.org.
About Dwight Howard / D12 Foundation
Five time NBA All-Star Dwight Howard has a long history of commitment and philanthropy to those in Central Florida and around the world. With the launch of D12 Foundation (www.d12foundation.org), Dwight is looking to assist those less fortunate in the Orlando area and around the globe in hopes of inspiring others to do the same. Dwight was named the 2010-2011 winner of the Rich & Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award. This marks the fifth time and the fourth consecutive year Howard has won the award.
SOURCE Big Brothers Big Sisters