Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Island get new office space, for free

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of West Island have been in their current office space in Dorval for the last six years.

However, the organization admits it has limitations.

“It’s really a maze,” said interim executive director, Julie Ogilvie. “It doesn’t work well when one case worker is having a confidential meeting, and another one needs to bring someone in, because they have to go through [the office to get to the other] and interrupt.”

Though Big Brothers and Big Sisters is a big organization, the West Island division is quite small.

Right now, they directly impact about 160 people, so the $24,000 a year they pay in rent can be quite a burden.

To help with the high tab, Traffic Tech came up with an idea.

The transport company recently moved into a brand new building in Kirkland, and they offered Big Brothers and Big Sisters some office space.

“We’re a large business. This is our Canadian headquarters, and Traffic Tech and Brian Arnott [owner] have given up space to Big Brothers and Big Sisters for a 15-year donation for a space and a lease.”

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The new space will consist of a conference room and six closed-door offices.

Each of those offices have big windows, lots of space, and a lot of light.

On top of that, the building is in the perfect location to help children who need mentors.

“We service everyone from Verdun to Rigaud,” said Ogilvie. “We even have some children in Laval. So being up closer to the [Highway] 40, it just puts us a lot more central for our community.”

A community that is also in need of help.

The organization needs volunteers.

They currently have 60 kids on a waiting list for a mentor.

The extra funds saved by their lease will help.

“Freeing up these resources that we are currently spending on rent, and allowing us to put that directly towards the kids and the programs, will allow us to service those 60 kids that are waiting.”

At the moment, their new space in Kirkland is under construction.

It’s expected to be ready for the new neighbours by mid-June.

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