100 Years of History
For over a century, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been changing kids’ perspectives and giving them opportunities to reach their full potential. We have over a century of support from volunteers, donors, and advocates, just like you, to thank.
The movement started in 1904 when a young New York City court clerk named Ernest Coulter saw more and more boys coming through his courtroom. He recognized that caring adults could help many of these kids stay out of trouble, leading him to set out and find volunteers and marking the beginning of the Big Brothers movement.
Around the same time, a group called Ladies of Charity was befriending girls who had come through the New York Children’s Court. That group would later become Catholic Big Sisters.
Both groups worked 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 its founders’ vision of bringing caring role models into the lives of children and currently operates in all 50 states and in 12 countries around the world.
York County’s local Big Brothers Big Sisters agency evolved from Volunteers in Service to Youth, VISTY, program, which was founded in 1974 as a part of Catholic Charities. We joined up with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America in 1981 after seeing how aligning with the organization could improve our community.
On January 1, 1990, Big Brothers Big Sisters of York County, Inc. was formed as an independent agency that was no longer under the umbrella of Catholic Charities. Our York chapter later merged with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Adams County in 2001. Today, Big Brothers Big Sisters of York & Adams Counties is continuing Coulter’s work and is serving hundreds of kids throughout York and Adams Counties.