Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Become a Big Brother or Big Sister!

You have often heard me tell stories about how much fun I have out with my Little Sister (aka Little) from the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Today I want to take a few minutes to tell you more about the program and hope that I can convince just a few of you to become "Bigs."

The program is different for every single Big. Because no two kids are the same, no two Bigs are the same. First thing to know, adults are called Bigs, and our kids are called Littles. No need to specify that you are a "Big Sister" or you have a "Little Sister." Your gender explains it all. So we just say "Big."

This is a volunteer program that only asks four hours a month of you. (If you are like me and choose to spend closer to 4 hours a week with your kid, that's just fine, and totally up to you!) You are "matched" by the Big Brothers Big Sisters professional staff based on all sorts of criteria. They want to make sure both you and your kid are getting the best possible experience. I can say that my Little and I are perfectly matched. We get along wonderfully. Her mother and I joke around frequently that Little may look just like her mother, but in many ways, she is become a little me. (Yikes!)

You get to pick, with your Little, how you will spend your time together, where, when, etc. My Little and I prefer Monday afternoons and every Real Salt Lake home game. Every "match" is different, and that is the beauty of it! You get to do what it is you two like to do!

One of the most remarkable and enjoyable parts of being a Big is the unfiltered love and adoration your Little grows to have for you. I live for the hugs and sweet little comments my kiddo gives me. And most of the time she has no idea she has said anything that has melted my heart. Recently she told me something that was actually fairly trivial, but it showed character that she chose not to do it. She told me, "I thought how I wouldn't be able to tell you about it, so I didn't do it." Can I just tell you I nearly cried right there in the car? I had to just smile and tell her I was proud of her. But really, I wanted to jump for joy and cry at the same time. (To her mother who will be reading this- honestly, I have no idea what it even was now. It was that trivial! It may have been not doing all of her homework, but really, that doesn't sound like her does it?)

Big Brothers Big Sisters is ALWAYS looking for more Bigs. (they are also always taking in more kiddos!) If you are interested in becoming a Big, research them at You might be surprised at what a difference you can make in a child's life.

If you aren't currently available to become a Big, consider making a donation, whether cash or clothing, to your local branch! Or if your business has tickets to local events, or any sort of contributions to activities that may be of interest to Bigs and Littles (ahem- Real Salt Lake tickets!), contact them!!

Also, for you young professionals out there, whether or not you are interested in becoming a Big, check out the Big Alliance. The Big A is dedicated to supporting BBBS in various capacities from fundraisers to activities or just networking. I'm a member of our local chapter, and I must say- its a lot of fun!

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