At Big Brothers Big Sisters, we believe every child should have the opportunity to reach his or her full potential – both as individuals and citizens. We believe that by changing the course of young lives we can in turn be changing the course of a community’s future.
Start Talking is a place where we want to raise awareness of key issues that face today’s youth. We will sometimes advocate, sometimes educate, sometimes inform, sometimes ask questions and always invite discussion about the pressing concerns that involve the younger generations of today.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Chocolate Milk The Superdrink!

By Fitness&Health Enthusiast . Speaker . Idea Catalyst, Tania Archer 

After an intense workout your body is in need of fluids, carbohydrates and proteins to REHYDRATE the body, to REPLACE nutrients, to fuel your next workout and to RECHARGE & REPAIR your muscles. Forget that sweet sports drink that's lacking in restorative qualities and reach for a supercharged glass of cool chocolate milk.


The fluids you lose during a workout need to be replaced in order for your body to keep performing. Studies have shown one that CHOCOLATE MILK is one of the best rehydration beverages as it is 87% water and contains 16 essential nutrients including carbohydrates, portions, vitamins A and D, calcium, potassium and many more. We lose quite a bit of electrolytes (sodium, chloride) and potassium when we sweat and through high intensity workouts lasting 45 minutes or more. Chocolate Milk naturally contains sodium and potassium.


Replacing stored energy called glycogen (carbohydrates), which is burned as body fuel during a workout, is key to improving your endurance capacity and your boosting energy. Chocolate Milk is rich in "good carbs" the body needs to recover post workout but complete glycogen levels will help you perform better during your next workout. Ideally replace lost carbohydrates within 15 to 30 minutes of a your workout.


Protein is an essential nutrient in building and maintaining natural muscle mass. Chocolate Milk gives you the complete nutrition your body needs to bounce back from an intense workout. The natural protein found within a glass of milk stimulates muscle growth and repair. A single glass of chocolate milk has as much protein as a large egg.

Helpful Hints ... To make the most of all the nutrients power packed in to your next glass of CHOCOLATE MILK, drink 1 to 2 glasses of this refreshing beverage 15 to 30 minutes after working out in order to rehydrate, replace and recharge-repair your body.

Tania Archer
@taniaarcher #90DayCrossFitChallenge

Through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada’s diverse mentoring programs, we educate young girls and boys across Canada about the importance of healthy and balanced eating.

For a list of our mentoring programs-

What’s your favorite go-to snack after a workout?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ever wonder if your charitable donations actually generate a financial return to society?

I’d like to tell you a story about a little boy named Jamie who at 8 years old lost his father to heart disease and whose world was turned upside down. He and his two brothers felt abandoned, scared and a bit lost and didn’t think that they had anyone to talk to.

Their lives could have taken any number of roads, but their mother had the courage to realize that while she would give her children anything she couldn’t give them everything, so she reached out for help - and Big Brothers Big Sisters answered. Big Brothers stepped into each of her young boys’ lives and selflessly did their best to fill the holes, help mend hearts and ensure the roads the boys walked down, were good ones.

Now Jamie grew up to be James and a Partner and Managing Director the at Boston Consulting Group and when Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada asked us to assess the impact of their programs I knew from my own experience that there was real value created.

The key was to turn “knowing” into proof and to undertake a statistically significant, quantitatively rigorous study so that we could convince people without that experience, of the value of its programs.

With a representative sample of former Littles compared to a control group, that’s exactly what we did. We studied differential life outcomes and the portion attributable to Big Brothers Big Sisters and what we found was tremendous.

For every dollar spent on a Big Brothers Big Sisters program, 18 dollars in societal value is created and the harder the circumstances the better the program works, with a 23:1 SROI in the most economically disadvantaged groups that Big Brothers Big Sisters serves.

Click here for Key Findings from the Social Return on Investment Study.

The study clearly shows that vast numbers of former Littles see the relationship with their Big as a transformational moment in their lives that led to enhanced life outcomes, an ability to make better decisions, increased confidence and a general sense of well being and happiness.

I'd like to leave you with one final thought – you don’t donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters, you make an investment, an investment in a little boy’s or little girl’s future, and that investment will have a fantastic payoff – in hard dollars and better lives lived.


James Tucker O.M.C., ICD.D, MBA, BA, is a Partner and Managing Director with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) based in Toronto, Canada. His professional practice is focused on helping clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage and realize the full potential value of their operations and assets.

On July 16, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is unveiling the findings of a ground breaking new study that audits the financial return in economic value from Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring. The findings of this rigorous audit provide a thought provoking analysis of the hard economic benefits that result from investing in the future of little boys and girls.


If you could invest in Canada's future and get an excellent return on your investment, which would you choose to support?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

And here we are, turning 100.

“Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone.”
Jim Fiebig

So much has happened in 100 years. The world is almost unrecognizable from the one that existed in 1913 and gave rise to Big Brothers Big Sisters in Canada. It is more connected. It moves faster. The needs of children seem to be so much more complex.

And here we are, turning 100.

How do we be both old and young at the same time? Few organizations have the reputation and respect that comes with 100 years of stellar service to children and families. In hundreds of Canadian communities, staff and volunteers have been changing the trajectories of young lives. Certainly the relevancy of the mentoring programs that are offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters is not in question. It is, however, more challenging for established institutions to make ongoing and significant change to stay in step with the times.

Perhaps the essence of mentoring doesn’t need to change all that much. As Cirque du Soleil founder, Guy Laliberte said “We didn't reinvent the circus. We repackaged it in a much more modern way.”

While being a centenarian in ‘cause’, Big Brothers Big Sisters is a young person’s movement. Across all community based programs, the average age for volunteers at the time of inquiry is 26.1 and 75.5% of all volunteers in the movement are under the age of 30. When factoring in teen mentors in school based programs, site based average age is 21.5.

The process of repackaging..developing, new meaningful programs while retaining the essence of quality mentoring.. is well underway. Big Brothers Big Sisters will continue to balance the wonderful advantages of age – experience, wisdom, knowledge – with the benefits of youth – energy, vitality, enthusiasm – to create a vibrant organization that enters its second century of service with a double scoop cone.


Bruce MacDonald
President & CEO
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Quality Time


We all value it, seek more of it, and how we prefer to spend our ‘quality time’ is different for each of us. For some it’s dinner with friends, a workout at the gym and for others it is curling up on the sofa with a great book.

For me, quality time is spending time with family. In particular, spending time with my nephews who hold a special place in my heart.

The time spent with children reminds us how to put our worries and cares aside and focus on the now. Through their eyes we see the wonder in day to day things which we often take for granted – the excitement of seeing a rabbit hop by, the taste of ice cream on a hot summer’s day, the sound that carries when a plane passes overhead, the feel of grass on our feet. We are young again. We are present.

What does quality time mean to a child? Any time we spend with them, sharing a laugh, talking, listening and being present and attentive means so much to them. It’s so simple, and takes so little to make them happy and to remind them that they are special. Just a little bit of our time, and we all get so much in return. Yet, in today’s busy world filled with constant tasks, errands, phone calls, emails, tweets, etc. it seems we never have enough time to make room for the important things, the quality time with our loved ones.

When we make time for a child, the benefits on both sides are immeasurable. Actually, they are priceless.

Often spending time with our loved ones is the last thing on our long to do list and before we know it, time has zipped by and we can’t turn it back. We end up wondering where the time went, and how they’ve grow up so fast, wishing we could have enjoyed more precious time with them.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not waiting for another weekend, another holiday, and I’m not saying ‘maybe some other time’, or ‘I’m too busy today, maybe tomorrow’. I’m going to take time in the present and enjoy the now with them. I’m going to giggle over nothing, share a cookie, dance in the kitchen, build a tower from Lego, and I’m going to love every minute of it!

Here’s hoping you get to enjoy your quality time as much as I do.

Rosemary Velcich
Manager of Development Programs