Country Run raises $45,000 for BBBS kids

And they're off!  (Photos by Ashley Landis/The DeBerry Group)

And they’re off! The starting line at Country Run 2014. (Photos by Ashley Landis/The DeBerry Group)

CST Brands, the parent company of Corner Store, wrapped up its first-ever 5K fun run series called the Corner Store Country Run – and they had some BIG success!

Overall, the Country Run raised a total of $1 million for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Canada, and other children’s charities. On Saturday, Nov. 17, Corner Store CEO Kim Lubel presented a check for an amazing $500,000 to BBBS of America and the remaining proceeds will go to various children’s charities in each city where a race was held.

Yeehaw! (Photos by Ashley Landis/The DeBerry Group)

Yeehaw! The Country Run mascot rustles up some fun! (Photos by Ashley Landis/The DeBerry Group)

Here in Austin, the run donated $45,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas and $50,000 to the Ride On Center for Kids!

The first Country Run kicked off in Montreal, Quebec on Sept. 13 and ended in San Antonio on Saturday, stopping along the way in Little Rock, Phoenix, Denver, Houston, Austin and Dallas. From beginning to end, the series attracted more than 20,000 particpants!

The course was farm-themed with hay bales, corn stalks and giant inflatable cows and pigs, and participants dressed in Western wear, overalls, cowboy hats, even a chicken costume. Registration included a T-shirt, blue finisher ribbon and a free country fair with live music, beer garden, food, carnival games and giveaways.

Did you go to the Country Run? What did you think?

Jack in the Box announces festive fundraiser for BBBS kids!

By Megan Jodie, intern

Today, Jack in the Box restaurants announced their 7th annual fundraising effort to benefit BBBS kids. Each year Jack in the Box sells a limited-edition promotional item that customers may purchase in participating Jack in the Box restaurants – so get yours today!medium_Dashing_Jack_Big_Brothers_Big_Sisters_POP

This year’s promotional item is a limited-edition Dashing Jack antenna ball/ornament. It only costs $1 and it’s a perfect decoration for home or antenna. This year Dashing Jack is wearing a red and green bow tie and a red or green top hat. In the previous years, Jack in the Box has been able to raise $1.7 million nationally for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Who knew that such a small item could make such a big difference?

The proceeds from this fundraiser will support our mentoring programs, including Military Mentoring. Jack in the Box is a huge supporter of military families and our mentoring program —  and they even encourage their employees to volunteer themselves!

Starting today, support BBBS kids by visiting your local Jack in the Box and donating an extra dollar. A dollar may not seem like very much money, but it can help impact a child’s life forever!

#GivingTuesday : Join the movement on December 2nd

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Join us on December 2. How will you give back?

You’ve heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but did you know there is a Giving Tuesday?

It’s a simple idea. Just find a way to give something back — then tell everyone about how you’re doing it. In other words, Giving Tuesday is a global conversation that is all about helping others and spreading the word during one epic, social media blowout.

Here are some ideas for how you can join us – take your pick and show your support!

Spread the wordcorrina

  • Tweet, Facebook or Instagram about what the BBBS mission means to you. (Don’t forget to mention us: @bigmentoring #GivingTuesday)
  • Are you a Big? Tell your friends how you make a difference!

Give the gift of friendship

  • Sign up to become a mentor. What better way to give back?
  • Donate, or give a gift in honor of a loved one, to help more kids achieve success in life.

Join the BBBS Monthly giving group

Sisters bond over sweet, simple moments

For about a month after they were matched, Big Sister Lauren thought her Little Sister didn’t like her very much. She was so quiet that Lauren thought maybe she wasn’t enjoying spending time together. Then, one day, Little Sister Elizabeth got a haircut. When Lauren picked her up for their outing, Elizabeth’s mom revealed that she’d modeled her haircut after Lauren’s hairstyle.

Big Sister Lauren and Little Sister Elizabeth

Big Sister Lauren and Little Sister Elizabeth

A smile spreads across Lauren’s face as she tells the story. It was then that she realized Elizabeth was just a bit shy, and that mentoring is made up of countless little moments, woven together over time.

“The simplest things mean a lot to [your Little]. That’s the biggest thing I’ve learned,” says Lauren.

Shortly after that, Lauren was pleasantly surprised by another sweet gesture. Elizabeth handed her a card, that read, “thank you for everything you do, I love spending time with you.”

Since then, Lauren and Elizabeth have grown even closer. They enjoy reading, eating frozen yogurt, and doing homework together. Recently, they went to Fall Fest and both dressed as Frida Kahlo (a Mexican painter who is best known for her self-portraits) in their homemade outfits.

Big Sister Lauren and Little Sister Elizabeth winning the costume contest at Fall Fest 2014.

Big Sister Lauren and Little Sister Elizabeth winning the costume contest at Fall Fest 2014.

Although Lauren admits the costume idea was based more on the available materials (crocheted items she found in her closet) more than anything else, she says she does want Elizabeth to be proud of her heritage.

“[It’s] important to me that Elizabeth knows that culture is beautiful and it’s something to be proud of. To have that dual identity is really something special and I want her to know that,” Lauren says.

That’s a lesson Lauren learned as a little girl herself. She recalls being teased about her appearance and having a hard time at school. Then, one of her teachers left an article on her desk about being Afro-Latina. Lauren kept that article and still has it in her memory box to this day. It seems the comfort and strength she took from a teacher’s thoughtfulness resonates even in adulthood. Now, she pays it forward.

“I want Elizabeth to feel cultural pride and to understand that being bilingual is a strength,” she says.

Since they’ve been matched, Elizabeth has started communicating more openly, shares her feelings and is even having an easier time with her homework. Lauren recalls sitting in a café, watching as Elizabeth breezed through her algebra homework.

“I was so proud of her. That made my whole week, I could cry,” Lauren said, as she began to tear up. “You go in expecting to do something for a kid and you get so much in return.”

Although Lauren and Elizabeth have only been matched for six months, it’s clear they’ll stick together. We look forward to many more simple, yet meaningful, shared moments in their future.

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Lauren and Elizabeth are just one of nearly 1,000 matches in Central Texas.  There are still 600 local children waiting for a mentor. With your support as a donor or volunteer, you can help to end the wait.