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Quad-Cities Big Brothers Big Sisters to Move Headquarters in Davenport

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of the Mississippi Valley is moving to a larger office headquarters next month in Davenport.

After 15 years at 130 W. 5th Street in Davenport, BBBS is relocating its headquarters to 3247 35th Street Court off Elmore Avenue and

Quad-Cities Big Brothers Big Sisters to Move Headquarters in Davenport

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley plans to move its headquarters to 3247 35th Street Court (off Elmore and Kimberly), the former home of United Way of the Quad Cities.

Kimberly Road in Davenport, effective August 15th. Mel Foster Co., a longtime supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters, finalized an agreement with the non-profit that will roughly double the current square footage used by BBBS.

“Our growth and program innovation has been exciting,” Travis Guy, chairperson of the BBBS Board of Directors, said in a Thursday release. “It’s important to strategically position our organization for the future, which means we have the capacity and resources to meet the changing needs of the children and families in our community.”

“This is a unique opportunity from Mel Foster Co. that creates the space and financial stability for our operations to thrive for years to come,” he said.

Quad-Cities Big Brothers Big Sisters to Move Headquarters in Davenport

Lynsey Engels is president of Mel Foster Co.’s real estate brokerage.

Mel Foster is donating 10,000 square feet of the 25,000-square foot building, which was formerly occupied by United Way of the Quad Cities.

Lynsey Engels, president of Mel Foster Co.’s Real Estate Brokerage, explained that this partnership with BBBS fits with Mel Foster’s commitment to serving the Quad-Cities.

“We are thrilled to announce this long-term partnership the same year we are celebrating our 100-year anniversary,” she said. “Giving back to our community has been so important to the longevity of the company and BBBS is an organization that many of our staff, producers and agents are passionate about as well. We’re so proud to help BBBS meet their space needs so they can focus on their mission of supporting children and families.”

The new space will offer interview/training rooms for volunteer, children and family enrollments, ample parking for visitors and guests, expanded capacity for board, committee and community meetings, mentor and parent orientations, trainings, and a new resource/collaboration room with support materials and space for match-related functions.

Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 7 through 18, throughout eastern Iowa and western Illinois. It develops positive friendships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people.

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Jay Justin, president & CEO of BBBS, was also excited to announce that BBBS has received a lead gift of $100,000 from John and Bonnie Leinart for the design and renovation of the new space.

John has served on the board of directors for the organization for more than 22 years. John, Bonnie, and their children have also served as

Quad-Cities Big Brothers Big Sisters to Move Headquarters in Davenport

Jay Justin is president and CEO of the area’s Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Bigs in the program. The Leinart gift was quickly supported by a $25,000 grant from the donor advised fund of the Quad Cities Community Foundation by Hunt and Diane Harris, other long-term supporters of the organization.

These two gifts will serve as lead gifts toward a campaign to raise $250,000 for the buildout.

“This two-pronged approach will give us the physical and financial capacity to grow our impact and sustain our programming for many years to come,” Justin said.

More than 20 area contractors and suppliers are involved in the renovation project. Estes Construction is donating general contractor and design services for the project.

Quad-Cities Big Brothers Big Sisters to Move Headquarters in Davenport

Travis Guy is chairman of the Big Brothers Big Sisters board of directors.

“We are extremely proud to be a part of this project and are thankful for the positive response we have received from the building community to make this project happen,” said Jim Kiesey, operations director for Estes Construction.

Other contractors involved include Petersen Plumbing, Allied Construction, Tri-City Electric, Hornbuckle Heating and Air, Paragon Commercial Interiors, Russell Construction, and several others.

“It’s gonna give us three new interview and meeting rooms we can use for families,” Justin said of the new space. “It’s just gonna give us a lot more convening resources.”

BBBS has 13 full-time employees and eight AmeriCorps service members, and has grown over the past 15 years from coordinating 200 matches between adult mentors and children a year, now between 700 and

Quad-Cities Big Brothers Big Sisters to Move Headquarters in Davenport

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley serves over 700 matches of adult mentors and kids (age 7-18) throughout the region.

1,000 matches a year, he said.

“This move and these gifts represent another significant milestone for our organization as we continue our work to ensure every child can succeed and thrive in life,” Guy said. “We are thankful to Mel Foster Co. for their long-term commitment, the Leinart and Harris families for their generosity with their lead gifts, and the building community for stepping up and helping with the renovation.

“It is not possible without our community partners dedicating their resources, time and talent to serving our youth mentoring in our community and we are thrilled to see their gift impact more children well into the future,” he added.

“It creates financial stability we need, program options to be flexible in the future,” Justin said. “We need those things to be sustainable.”

The current BBBS 5,000-square-foot building will be occupied by St. Anthony’s Church, as an education center, he noted.

One of 300 Big Brother Big Sisters affiliates in the U.S., BBBS of the Mississippi Valley serves an area including 15 counties in eastern Iowa and western Illinois, with three mentoring centers in Davenport, Rock Falls and Macomb, Ill. For more information, visit bbbsmv.org.

Quad-Cities Big Brothers Big Sisters to Move Headquarters in Davenport

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Jonathan Turner has been covering the Quad-Cities arts scene for 25 years, first as a reporter with the Dispatch and Rock Island Argus, and then as a reporter with the Quad City Times. Jonathan is also an accomplished actor and musician who has been seen frequently on local theater stages, including the Bucktown Revue and Black Box Theatre.
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