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For more than a century, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been helping change kids’ perspectives and giving them the opportunity to reach their potential. And we have more than a century of volunteers, donors, and advocates just like you to thank.

It all started in 1904, when a young New York City court clerk named Ernest Coulter was seeing more and more boys come through his courtroom. He recognized that caring adults could help many of these kids stay out of trouble, and he set out to find volunteers. That marked the beginning of the Big Brothers movement.

At around the same time, the members of a group called Ladies of Charity were befriending girls who had come through the New York Children’s Court. That group would later become Catholic Big Sisters.

Both groups continued to work independently until 1977, when Big Brothers Association and Big Sisters International joined forces and became Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

More than 100 years later, Big Brothers Big Sisters remains true to our founders’ vision of bringing caring role models into the lives of children. And, today, Big Brothers Big Sisters currently operates in all 50 states—and in 12 countries around the world.

Big Brothers began in Racine and Kenosha in 1960. In 1984, our services were expanded to include girls.


From the late 1970s through the early 1990s, the Kenosha program was known as “Kinship.” In 1996, the Kinship program of Kenosha affiliated itself with Big Brothers Big Sisters merging with the Racine program to become Big Brothers Big Sisters of Racine & Kenosha Counties Inc., (BBBS) as it is known today.

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