Katherine Durante, Executive Director of Ocean First Foundation and Nina Anuairo, Sr. Vice President of Ocean First Bank. recently presented a $7,000 check on behalf of OceanFirst Foundation to Sue Sedivec, former CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ocean County; Chief Mitchell Little of Toms River Police Department; and Ralph Wolff, Chairman of the Board of BBBSOC in support of the Bigs In Blue Program.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ocean County’s (BBBSOC) 15 year relationship with the Toms River Police Department has expanded into a partnership. The Toms River Police Department embraced the first in Ocean County “Bigs In Blue” Program. It is a national program focused on building relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve through a one-to-one mentoring relationship. The Toms River Police Department wants to communicate to the community, especially the children, which they are here to protect and help. They also recognize that prevention is critical with the youth in the community and a positive model in their lives will make a major difference.
BBBSOC currently has a waiting list of children in need of a mentor in both the community and school-based programs. These are the children which will be the first to benefit from this program. “Reaching children at a young age through positive role models greatly enhances their chances of success,” stated Toms River Police Department Chief Mitchell Little. Ms. Sedivec commented “We are so grateful for the support given by OceanFirst Foundation for this important program. The impact it will have on the children and the community will be very, very positive and help to change lives for the better – forever.”
“OceanFirst Foundation is proud to support the “Bigs In Blue” partnership between Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ocean County and the Toms River Police Department. Our Police officers are role models and to have them as mentors is going to have a lasting and positive impact on the “littles”. We congratulate BBBSOC and TRPD for being the first police department in OC to jump in!”
BBBSOC is a registered 501©3 not for profit formed in 1997 serving the mentoring needs of Ocean County children (Littles) facing adversity. The agency places a carefully-matched mentor (Big) in a supervised mentoring relationship. This one-to-one mentoring approach has been proven to have a positive impact on the social and educational development of children and the agency’s annual outcome surveys support these findings.