EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — Every year, a handful of organizations are selected to receive funding through the Pocono Mountains Community Fundraiser. Now in its 20th year, Wednesday night’s big event will help four non-profits serving Monroe County.
You might not guess it, but Kaylee Saldivar and Susan are sisters. These sisters love catching movies at the Pocono Cinema and Cultural Center in East Stroudsburg. They’re bonded, not by blood, but through Big Brothers Big Sisters of NEPA.
“She’s like a mom and a friend. She’s fun and you can tell her anything and she’ll give you good advice,” Kaylee explained.
Despite a 50-year age gap, they enjoy the same movies and also spent the summer tackling some of 14-year-old Kaylee’s struggles with swimming.
“We can still do a lot of things together, even though I’m old enough to be her grandmother, and it’s just a good dynamic. It was a good fit,” said Susan.
There are currently 16 matches in Monroe County, but the youth mentoring program also has a waitlist.
“We have such a huge need for bigs, a huge need for male mentors as well,” said Big Brothers Big Sisters of NEPA CEO Jennifer Gimble.
Program specialists can recommend low-cost or free things to do in the area, such as visiting the park.
“If they have any questions like what are we supposed to do when it’s snowing out, that’s really what our agency is there for and how we can see that match and help it grow and develop,” Gimble explained.
Thanks to Susan’s sound advice, Kaylee says she can better navigate normal issues at home, and her grades have improved.
“I want to go to college. I want to travel the world, too, and hopefully still be in contact with my big,” Kaylee said.
“It makes me feel good,” Susan said.
A sisterhood made for the movies, but far from fiction.
With funding from the 20th annual Pocono Mountains Community Fundraiser, Big Brothers Big Sisters will expand its programming in the Stroudsburg School District and create new partnerships within Monroe County schools.
28/22 News is a proud sponsor of the big event being held Wednesday night at Mount Airy Casino Resort where we’ll learn just how much each organization is receiving.
The fundraiser hopes to hit the $3,000,000 mark of total money raised since 2003.