Big Brothers Big Sisters Windsor Essex Celebrates!



$809,000 in Ontario Government Funding

On Friday, local MPP Lisa Gretzky met with the Big Brothers Big Sisters Windsor Essex (BBBS Windsor Essex) staff, donors, and volunteers to celebrate $809,000 in funding from the Government of Ontario through two Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) grants. The event was also attended by representatives from the Toldo Foundation to celebrate funding being awarded to BBBS Windsor Essex to continue the position initially made possible by OTF funding. 

“Big Brothers Big Sisters of Windsor Essex provides vital guidance and support to many of the most vulnerable young people in our community,” said Lisa Gretzky, MPP for Windsor West. “It is therefore heartening to see the OTF has supported this organization with the two grants we are celebrating.  These grants are well-deserved and will have an incalculable positive impact on the well-being of the youth in our region.” 

First awarded in March 2020, the $709,000 Grow Grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation assisted youth in underserviced neighborhoods with the support of six, full-time case workers anchored in West Windsor, Corunna, and Chatham East. With the OTF grant concluding in June 2023, a generous donation from the Toldo Foundation made it possible to continue the case worker position in West Windsor where the need for our services is greater. Their support ensured that the positive inroads made by the OTF grant would be sustained and bring even greater success. 

“We are very proud and excited to be working with BBBS Windsor Essex by providing the funds needed to continue this vital position in Windsor West. Mentoring matters and the return on our donation now and into the future is extraordinary, making it a win win for community,” said Alex Toldo, Trustee for the Toldo Foundation. 

An $99,800 Resilient Communities Fund was also awarded by OTF in May 2023 to support BBBS Windsor Essex in building its capacity, resilience, and sustainability by developing a long-term fundraising strategy including donor engagement and stewardship to meet the needs of our youth. 

For every $1 invested in mentoring, there is a return of $23 back to society. Our case workers play a vital role in this complex process as they help recruit volunteers, assist with applications, conduct record checks, and
oversee the screening process. Once approved, it’s the case workers’ job to manage the orientation and training, and then match the mentee and mentor. They are committed to the success of the match and provide the ongoing support and guidance needed to help build strong and rewarding relationships for both the  youth and their mentee.  

“BBBS is grateful for the generosity of both the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Toldo Foundation. It is thanks to their support that we can help vulnerable children and youth develop stronger emotional and social skills, improved school success, and help create a brighter future,” said Becky Parent, Executive Director for BBBS Windsor-Essex “When you partner with us, you don’t just spark potential in young people; you commit to creating a bigger and brighter future for our community.” 

The mission of BBBS Windsor Essex is to enable life-changing mentoring relationships to ignite the power and potential of young people.   

“Non-profit organizations across Ontario deliver programming that makes a difference,” said Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “That’s why funding that my ministry is providing through the OTF is so important. Our government wants to ensure that these programs and spaces remain the heart of communities across our province.” 

The Ontario Trillium Foundation’s (OTF) mission is to build healthy and vibrant communities across Ontario. As an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations, last year, OTF invested over $110M into 1,022 community projects and partnerships. Visit to learn more.