As a long-time supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters, and founding partner of the internationally honoured PALS (Partners Assisting Local Schools) program, Mr. James, K. Irving has devoted many years as a champion of the potential of young people and the powerful impact of mentorship in our community.

J.D. Irving, Limited has been an un-matched community partner for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Saint John since 2001. This support has been multi-faceted and has resulted in partnerships with other local businesses, which provide support through volunteer In-School Mentors, financial contributions, and fund raising efforts. As a result of the leadership and passion of Mr. James K. Irving, this partnership has grown and flourished and has had long-term, significant impact on Big Brothers Big Sisters of Saint John’s capacity to service the youth of Saint John, surrounding communities and Charlotte County.


PALS was initiated in 2000 by Mr. James K. Irving, Chairman of J.D. Irving, Limited, and School District 8 in Saint John, NB (currently the Saint John Education Centre of the Anglophone South School District). Since 2000, one school and one partner have grown to more than 30 schools and 140 partners and this positive growth continues. The nationally and internationally recognized PALS program facilitates partnerships between local businesses and community organizations and neighbourhood schools, where support is provided in the form of volunteers and financial assistance.

Over the years, a large number of JDI volunteers have dedicated thousands of hours during their work day and on their own time to mentor young students through Big Brothers Big Sisters’ In-School Mentoring program, an important component of the PALS initiative. To compliment this support, J.D. Irving, Limited and its employees have raised nearly one million dollars in support of Bowl for Kids Sake since 2ooo.


Over the past number of years, the Province of New Brunswick has provided funding in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programs.

United Way Saint John, Kings & Charlotte

The United Way Saint John, Kings & Charlotte has been a critical supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters over the past number of years. As a funded partner of the United Way, we are helping to build vibrant neighborhoods and stronger communities. To help kids be all that they can be, we connect them with carefully selected mentors and support the resulting friendships to ensure optimum outcomes, like resilience, improved school achievement, confidence and the strength to make positive life choices.


In partnership with the Anglophone South School District and 36 schools throughout the District, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been able to provide a variety of school based programs. These programs include the one-to-one In-School Mentoring and In-School Teen Mentoring programs along with the Go Girls! and Game On! group mentoring programs.

We are proud to be one of the community partners helping the ASD-S work towards achieving their improvement plan’s goal of strengthening engagement of families and fostering community partnerships.


The Canadian Tire Jumpstart 2023-24 Community Development Grant has provided partial funding to support our Big Fan & Group Mentoring Project.  Big Brothers Big Sisters will utilize Jumpstart funding to help:

1.) Bring back our core group mentoring programs, Go Girls and Game On;

2.) Restart our Mentor Links program for those on the waitlist for a mentor of their own;

3.) Opportunities to take part in sport or sport-related activities for those matched in our community-based 1:1 program and;

4.) Create new opportunities through a new Big Fan concept which will involve interest-based, short-term mentoring relationships.

Thanks to Canadian Tire Jumpstart funding, we now have:

  1. Some sports/activity supplies that can be borrowed by Bigs to use for activities with their Little. The list of what we have in stock is below, and we will be adding more soon (more winter gear). We will update when more equipment becomes available! if you have any ideas around what other equipment you might like us to have available for borrowing, please shoot us an email or give us a call at the office and we will see what we can do to get it in stock! If you are a Big and you’d like to borrow any of the supplies or equipment, please complete this FORM to make arrangements. We do encourage you to take advantage of these supplies!
  2. Some funding available to assist with the costs of match outings that are physical activity based. If you are a Big and would like assistance with paying the costs of activities with your Little like snowshoeing, skiing, gym/fitness facility usage, etc. please reach out to your mentoring coordinator!
  3. With this funding comes free access to the Respect in Sport training that we do encourage everyone to take advantage of!! A requirement of us having Jumpstart funding (to ensure we are collectively providing safe and inclusive spaces for all) is that all program staff (employee or volunteer) involved in the direct delivery of 1:1 mentoring and/or small group mentoring (Go Girls, Game On, Wait List) are to have successfully completed the following training modules: Respect in Sport Youth Activity Leader, Keeping Girls in Sports, Supporting Positive Behaviors, Welcoming All Abilities. Please consider taking this online training as it is valuable learning for you as a Big!


THE BIG 50/50

A community fundraising initiative which gives members of the public the opportunity to support several causes in the Saint John region, and the chance to win cash every week!

The Big 50/50″ is an electronic raffle. Participants buy tickets and are given a unique number, which can be played every week. Tickets will be sold daily and a new winner is drawn every Tuesday. Tickets are $2 each and are valid until the next draw.

Proceeds from The Big 50/50 support the following organizations:
Saint John Sea Dogs Foundation, SJRH Auxiliary’s Brighten Group, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Rotary Club of Rothesay Kings, The Saint John Y’s Men’s Club, Children’s Wish Foundation, Rotary Club of Saint John, Inc

Visit http://www.thebig5050sj.com/