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Big Brothers Big Sisters Standby Media Statement

To Our Valued Partners:

You may have heard in the national news this week a story about Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA).  I want to share with you about that story and provide additional insight.

As you may be aware, we receive grants from the Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).  Those grants allow us to offer mentoring services to at-risk youth.  They come to us as a pass-through opportunity from BBBSA.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently concluded an audit of BBBSA's administration of three grants issued between 2009 and 2011.  The audit focused entirely on our national office.  We were not a part of the process.

The report was just released and identifies shortcomings in our national office's administration of the grants.  While there were NO findings of waste, fraud or abuse, the organization is still taking the report seriously and is implementing a plan to ensure that we maintain full compliance to grant guidelines going forward. 

Our local leadership team has been communicating with our Directors, Trustees and Staff in preparation for the release of this report.  Our agency has been awarded two OJJDP grants in recent years.  The grants have allowed us to serve more children and we have executed these in full compliance with the grant requirements.  We are impacted by the hold placed on funds as a result of this report.  The financial implications to our agency, however, are not significant because the current grant funds were not included in our budget plan, but were considered additional opportunities to provide service.

Attached is the press statement from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.  It clearly lays out our position and reinforces the success of the grants--highlighting that more than 17,000 at-risk children benefited from the OJJDP funding. 

We are grateful for your support and want to keep you informed of these developments.  Your partnership allows us to help children reach their full potential through the gift of one-to-one mentoring.

Please feel free to ask any questions of me or to share your feedback. Thank you.

Linda Henecke
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cedar Rapids and East Central Iowa

Enclosure, Big Brothers Big Sisters National Office Media Release

© 2011 Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cedar Rapids & East Central Iowa, 3150 E Avenue NW, Suite 103, Cedar Rapids, IA 52405, 319-377-8993

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