Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washtenaw County to merge with Metro Detroit chapter

Bigs and Littles do yoga together. (BBBS of Washtenaw County)

YPSILANTI, Mich. – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washtenaw County and BBBS of Metro Detroit have announced plans to merge and create Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Michigan.

With the new partnership, the organization aims to triple its mentoring matches between adult volunteers and kids ages 8-18.

“Both our organizations believe in a fundamental truth – you can change lives, one match at a time – and that purpose will continue to power our efforts in this new era,” chief executive officer for the merged organization Jennifer Spitler said in a statement.

Jennifer Spitler will serve as CEO of BBBS of Southeast Michigan. (Jennifer Spitler)

Spitler formerly headed BBBS of Washtenaw County for more than two decades.

“The next chapter for Big Brothers Big Sisters in the southeast Michigan region is exceptionally bright – and most importantly, it will result in even better, truly life-changing experiences for thousands of Bigs, Littles and families affiliated with both of our organizations,” current chairperson of BBBS of Metro Detroit Kathie Patterson said in a release.

After all required regulatory approvals are issued later this year, Patterson will serve as chairperson for BBBS of Southeast Michigan. Current president of BBBS of Washtenaw County, Gregg Hammerman, will serve BBBS of Southeast Michigan as vice-chairperson.

Hammerman was once a Big himself, and began mentoring his Little when the boy was six years old. That boy is now a young man who is currently expecting his first child, according to a release.

“Each organization has an amazing group of volunteers, staff, and supporters with a strong history of youth mentoring,” Hammerman said in a statement. “Bringing the two organizations together will greatly expand our ability to provide mentoring relationships to more children in the region.”

The donor-supported volunteer organizations will be hosting fundraising breakfasts this month. On Thursday, May 18, BBBS of Metro Detroit will be hosting its annual “Grow a Little” breakfast. For more information, visit the event’s website.

On Tuesday, May 23, BBBS of Washtenaw County will be hosting its annual “Rise and Shine” breakfast. For more information, visit the event’s website.

“For nearly 120 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been improving the lives of young people nationwide through mentorship – but every one of our Bigs and supporting volunteers will tell you they easily get just as much from it,” Patterson said in a statement.