CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police presented Monday a fundraising check to the local chapter of Big Brothers, Big Sisters, as part of a donation police say is saving lives.

Before presenting the $37,000 check, the money raised during a February bowling fundraiser, Superintendent Eddie Johnson had high praise for the organization’s work.

“We all know and recognize the violence that we’ve had in Chicago,” Johnson said. “I think that a large part of it could be reduced by simply reaching out to some of these young folks and having mentorship programs.”

Incoming CEO of Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Jeremy Foster said mentors are there for highlights, such as high school graduation, but are also there in dark times. He noted an incident last week, in which a 12-year-old “little brother” was hit by gunfire in the Old Town neighborhood.

“He’s actually at school today, believe it or not, to show you the resilience of the kids that we serve,” Foster said. “It reminds us that we equip children with something far more powerful than a weapon: we equip them with a mentor.”

Foster said during their 40-year partnership, CPD has helped generate $1.6 million in funding for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago.

The money raised will go directly to programs like leadership workshops, golf tournaments and even cooking classes.

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