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BBBS director believes in power of one

Excited to be a position where she can make a difference in people’s lives, Brenda Frachiseur was recently announced as the new executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Dorado County (BBBS).

In the job since October and still getting her feet wet, Frachiseur, 58, comes with 30 years of experience working for non-profits.

Her last position was as the California director of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers). Prior to that she was the director of Development and Programs for United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Sacramento.

Frachiseur said she left MADD after the job was transferred to Los Angeles. Rather than relocate, she chose to look for another position in this area.

A resident of Roseville and the mother of five boys, Frachiseur said she was attracted to BBBS because “it has such a positive mission with such a hopeful outcome to change lives.”

“I believe in the power of one,” she said, “and how every single mentor can change someone’s life.”

Frachiseur said one of her goals is to increase community awareness of the organization and of the need for more mentors.

Currently the organization has 133 open matches of children with a mentor. “But we have 46 ‘littles’ waiting for mentors,” she said, with 29 of those on the waiting list being boys, along with 17 girls.

“So many kids come from needy families, and some have been in abusive situations,” she added. “We provide positive role models who can make a change in a child’s life.”

The new executive director also wants to expand services into new areas of the county. The organization recently opened a program on the Divide and she’d like to expand in South Lake Tahoe as well, which will require hiring additional staff.

Currently the agency has five staff members, including Frachiseur, and operates on a budget of $281,000.

“We do a lot with the money we have,” she noted, saying they rely on donations, fundraisers and grants to pay expenses. “It costs us about $1,000 to make a match,” she continued, saying they follow up monthly with their matches to make sure everyone is getting what they need from the program.

“It’s difficult to find good matches,” she said. “You have to find a good match of interests and people who are interested in a long-term commitment. Most of our littles come from single-parent homes and need a mentor. These mentors fill a void.”

Another goal of the new executive is to increase donations to pay for additional outreach. But she emphasized that they won’t be adding new events, just “maximizing the potential of current events,” saying the agency’s fundraisers include an auction, golf tournaments and bowl-a-thons.
“We also had $30,000 donated to take the littles shopping for clothing and shoes,” she added.
Impressed by the reception she’s received so far, Frachiseur said she grew up in a small town herself in the south.
“Placerville has the same feeling,” she said. “It’s a close community. Very welcoming. You don’t experience that in a big town. I feel very encouraged that we can do bigger and better things because this is a very giving community.”

Asked what in particular she brings to the job, Frachiseur said it’s a “fresh set of eyes and a lot of experience. I have a good background for the job and what the organization can be. I previously came from two organizations that have grown and have been a part of both.

“I’m so excited to be here,” she said. “There is such potential. I’m also excited to be in a position that can change the world, one person at a time.”

Those interested in learning more about BBBS or in volunteering can call the agency at 530-626-1222 or visit its Website at bbbs-edc.org. Big Brothers Big Sisters is located at 2914 Cold Springs Road in Placerville.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or dhodson@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

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Posted by on Dec 8 2013.
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