This content is made possible by our sponsors. Learn more about our OBJ360 content studio here.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa


Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa (BBBSO) enables life-changing mentoring relationships to ignite the power and potential of young people facing adversity. We carefully and intentionally place an additional, consistent, and supportive mentor in these young people’s lives.

Volunteer mentors are thoughtfully recruited based on the needs of local youth, and are professionally screened. The “Big” mentor, “Little” mentee, and family receive training and are monitored and supported by a designated professional caseworker.

An incredible transformation takes place when a Little is matched with a Big who expresses care, challenges their growth, provides support, and expands their possibilities. These mentees build the life skills they need to be successful. We also see positive changes to their mental health, well-being, educational engagement, and employment readiness.

BBBSO has been creating youth mentorship matches in Ottawa for 52 years, and Renfrew County for seven years. We offer our traditional 1:1 Bigs mentorship program (youth ages 6-14), MPower (youth ages 15-24), PRISM for mentors and mentees who identify as 2SLGBTQ+ and programs in local schools.


  • Government Funding: 55.8%
  • Foundations and Other Charities: 24.7%
  • Individual Donors :8.2%
  • Corporate Donations & Events: 7.6%
  • Social Enterprise: 3.7%

How you can help


Young people need your help now. When you donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa, you invest in a young person’s potential and shape the future of the Ottawa community. Your donation gives local young people facing adversity access to a supportive adult mentor who spends meaningful, consistent and dedicated time with them. For every $1 donated, there is a social return on investment of $23 as our “Littles” grow up to be happy, successful adults who give back by volunteering or donating themselves.

To make a one-time or monthly gift, please visit or contact Monique Flocco at


We depend on volunteers for all of our mentoring programs. For as little as one hour per week, you can make a meaningful difference in the life of a child.

There are corporate volunteer opportunities through events, speed mentoring workshops, and with our social enterprise Thrive Select Thrift. There is also the opportunity to join our Board of Directors or one of our committees.

Mark Zekulin, BBBSO’s Board President; Susan Ingram, BBBSO’s Executive Director; and Hope Wood, Store Manager cut the ribbon at the Thrive Select Thrift storefront grand opening event.


Annual Breakfast Fundraiser

Rise and shine and make a BIG difference in your community. Join us from 8:30-9:30 a.m. on November 22, 2022 for an inspiring morning filled with incredible real life stories from BBBSO youth and volunteers.

Thrive Select Thrift

Our new boutique at 1547 Merivale Rd. in the Emerald Plaza is now open. The store is stocked with high-quality clothing generously donated by community members. 100% of proceeds from sales support BBBSO youth mentoring programs.

Organize a clothing drive, create a team-building event, host a company function or volunteer day for your workplace. You can also purchase store credit to allow BBBSO youth and families to shop for free. Visit

Holiday Hamper Program

Help our families over the holiday season by donating gift cards or dollars. Funds raised will give local families the the ability to purchase food, gifts and clothing – ensuring they have an enjoyable holiday celebration.

Annual Big Tee Off

Join us each September for a fun-filled golf tournament in support of local youth. Lunch, dinner, entertainment and silent auction are included. Sponsor the event, register a team or donate a silent auction item or prize.

Virtual Holiday Silent Auction

Get some of your holiday shopping done and help raise dollars for BBBSO mentoring programs. Visit: from November 14 to December 2, 2022.

To Participate or Sponsor:

Contact Tina Labelle at or 613-247-4776 x 329

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa
12-1645 Woodroffe Ave.
Ottawa, Ont.
K2G 1W2

Year founded: 1970

Total revenue for last fiscal year: $1,399,364

Twitter: @BBBSO
Facebook: /BBBSO
Instagram: @bbbsottawa

Susan Ingram
Susan Ingram, Executive director
Mark Zekulin, Board Chair, Happy Roots Foundation










Keith Egli
City of Ottawa

Lindsay Ostrom
Ottawa Hospital

Leslie Rae Ferat
Framework Convention Alliance

Mitchell Carkner
Decisive Group Inc.

Michael Qaqish
Algonquin College

Matt Haddad
Ottawa Senators Hockey Club

Colin Anderson

Antonia Francis
The Senate of Canada

Feyifunmi Olunuga
Deloitte Canada

Phillip Shaer
Invert Inc.

Ian Cascagnette

Michelle Alfieri
Gartner Consulting

Caroline Ravary

Michael Purcell
Ministry of the Attorney General


Ottawa and Renfrew County