Profiles in Mentoring
Profiles in Mentoring is a new effort by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri to highlight and honor men and women who have embraced, participated and advanced the mission of building trusting and enduring relationships that encourage and support young people.
Bill Smith, AKA Mr. Big Brother!
Notable Contributions to Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Alumni Big Brother – matched with 4 Little Brothers and still maintains contact after 40 years
- Legacy Award Honoree – 2003
- Member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri Hall of Fame Inaugural Class
- Lifelong donor
- Bowl for Kids’ Sake Team Captain
- Honorary Chairman of Bowl For Kids’ Sake 2013
In Deep Appreciation – by Becky James-Hatter, President and CEO
Not Enough Words
When I arrived in St. Louis almost 19 years ago, Bill Smith was already a legend. How someone becomes so significant to an organization is revealed in their service and love.
Bill has all the hallmarks of a great man. He is a loyal husband, a loving father, a friendly neighbor, a steadfast parishioner, a delightful employee, and a good friend to so many we can’t count. He is always ready with a smile, a story and a comforting word. I know NO ONE like him.
Bill was born in Arkansas in humble and sometimes hard beginnings, but vowed long ago to live a life of honor. All of us who have come to know him, LOVE HIM.
The Building’s First Tourist
When the renovations at our current building in Grand Center (the old Woolworth Building) were complete, Bill and his wife Ruby were the first couple to take a tour. The history of the building has scars from the civil rights. Among many things, there was a segregated lunch counter. I vividly recall seeing Bill tear up when we walked in the front door. When I asked him why he was so sad, he simply said, “I’ve never been welcome here." My proudest moment, to this day, was telling him, “You are now!”
Serving as Honorary Chair of Bowl for Kids’ Sake 2013
Today, Big Brothers Big Sisters has over 1,000 youth waiting for a Big Brother or Big Sister. We have a consistent need for two things to help our children and families – volunteers and funds. For every child waiting, we need one Big who will give their time, support and encouragement. To make, support and supervise one Big/Little team it costs roughly $1,300 annually.
To help us help more young people, Bill has volunteered AGAIN to be one of our Honorary Chairmen of Bowl for Kids’ Sake 2013. It will be our signature event for 2013 and we are counting on the participation and support of area corporations, organizations, unions and individuals to help us reach our goals.
In addition to the fund raising, spreading the word that we need more volunteers and in 2014 we will celebrate our 100th birthday, Bill will help us bring more attention to our work and help us find our alumni – former Bigs, Littles, Parents, Board and Staff.
Thanks Bill and Ruby for being so generous and thanks for showing all of us the true power of love.
Check out previous Profiles in Mentoring at the links below: