Merger in the works for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kamloops

By Greg Fry / James Peters
November 27, 2017 - 11:42am Updated: November 27, 2017 - 2:06pm

KAMLOOPS — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kamloops will undergo some big changes starting next year.

The social agency tasked with offering mentoring services to Kamloops and area youth will merge with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Okanagan to ensure its future survival.

"The organization has been struggling for the last couple of years on the financial side," says Vice-President Gerald Watson. "And the Board's been trying to come up with a plan that would allow Big Brothers to continue to have a prescence in Kamloops. So, what's happened is we have reached an agreement with Big Brothers Big Sisters Okanagan."

He says that agreement includes shutting down the Kamloops operation and rebranding Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Okanagan to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Interior.

"And we'll have a hard stop on the end of Dec. 31. (in Kamloops) and the new organization will move in and have a presence here in Kamloops and likely our Board will be joining onto their board to ensure that Kamloops is paid appropriate attention."

Watson says the merger will have an impact in Kamloops.

"One of the unfortunate things is the way insurance coverage works is you can't have an existing match roll from one organization over to another. So, we have to terminate all of the matches that Kamloops is operating by the end of December, and then there will be new matches, presumably some of them will be the same and remade, going forward from the Jan. 1 date on."

He says the hope is that the merger will allow the organization to continue on a much stronger financial footing.

"The biggest thing is going to be returns to scale. By having a larger operation you're able to share one executive director over all the cities that are served," Watson says. "It also allows you to consolidate all the renewed crew operations. So, you have one managing director dealing with the whole organization and that sort of thing allows you to free up enough money that between the two that you might be able to pay for a dedicated fundraiser."

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