Joe MacPherson was the youngest son of six children, born in Berkeley before the family relocated to Los Angeles. Within a year of the move, he lost his dad. And when both of Joe’s older brothers joined the war effort, he was often left to his own devices.
These early life experiences shaped Joe as an adult, and led him to realize how much kids need mentors in their lives. He became a champion of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, quietly finding new ways to make the biggest possible impact for our local youth. In 1995, we honored Joe’s decades of support with the highest honor our organization can bestow: the Joel K. Rubenstein Man of the Year Award.
His legacy continues through the Joe MacPherson Foundation, headed by daughter Anne MacPherson West.
“The last year has taught us there are basic needs that the entire family may have that need to be met to support their children’s success and build resilience,” Anne shared. “We realized the need to reach beyond our missions and serve the family more holistically.”
The foundation helped Big Brothers Big Sisters swiftly respond to the growing needs of our stakeholders and retain a new Family Resource Specialist in 2021. As the conduit between our families and community partners, the Family Resource Specialist elevates the Big Brothers Big Sisters service model and provides these wraparound services to address critical needs like food, safety and housing as a complement to the one-to-one mentoring relationships we create and sustain.
Thank you to Anne and the Joe MacPherson Foundation for your dedication to igniting potential for youth through mentorship!