Big Brothers Big Sisters: The First Meeting
Mar10

Big Brothers Big Sisters: The First Meeting

A few months after I initially inquired about Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) at the health fair at Franklin Electric, I found myself walking into an elementary school to meet my Little for the first time. And, as I stated in the previous installment of my BBBS series, I was quite nervous about it. Thankfully, our match support specialist was there to facilitate the first meeting and make us feel a bit more comfortable. First, we went over some paperwork and general guidelines, then we did some icebreaker activities that I initially thought would be awkward but turned out to be pretty helpful for Samantha and I as we got to know one another. Samantha was pretty outgoing right away and seemed quite enthusiastic about the program. She even said that the other girls in her class were jealous of her because she got her own Big! At our first meeting, we ended up going through our icebreaker activities and just talking. As it turns out, we share a love for journaling, reading, and even some of the same bands. I would have never guessed that I had so much in common with a nine year old. We decided that I would come for lunch on Fridays and we would meet in the special clubhouse area at her school. All in all, I left feeling pretty confident in my match with Samantha. I was a little unsure of what we would do each week when I came for lunch, but I really had nothing to worry about because Samantha always has plenty of ideas as soon as I walk through the door. At first, we would read books together and chat about things going on in her life. Then, she wanted to introduce me to her other classmates, which helped me to understand more of what was going on with her friends and school life. She also enjoys playing with my  makeup and hair and showing me new apps on my phone. A few weeks back, I bought a book called “Wreck this Journal” by Keri Smith. If you’ve never heard of it, this book is probably the coolest thing for 3rd through 5th graders. Each page has a different way in which to destroy it. We’ve had a great time stepping on, ripping up, drawing in, and generally destroying the journal over the past few weeks. And recently, I bought a blank notebook so we could create our own and come up with unique ways to wreck it. I have been pleasantly surprised by how well I get along with Samantha and by how many activities we both enjoy doing together. We...

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Big Brothers Big Sisters: Match Time
Feb09

Big Brothers Big Sisters: Match Time

I was sitting at my desk at work on one particularly monotonous day, trying to concentrate on my lengthy to-do list, when my phone started to vibrate. As a rule, I don’t typically answer numbers I don’t recognize (to be fair, I don’t like answering my phone in general), so I quickly silenced it. Wait! I’ve gotten a call from this number before…it could be Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) calling about my match! It had been a few weeks since I had gone through the application and interview process for BBBS, and my suspicions were correct, they had found a potential match for me! My match support specialist, Nicole, had about three pages worth of questions filled out by a 4th grader named Samantha. She also had some additional insight from Samantha’s mother and teacher to help me learn more about her personality. There was a wide range of questions from her favorite things to areas she thinks a Big Sister could help her. Some of the things she shared were silly – she wanted a Big with blond hair (which is totally not me.) Some were helpful – the two of us share a love of reading, writing, and being creative. And some were more serious – Samantha was struggling with being bullied. I learned quite a bit from the extensive information Nicole shared with me, and at the end of the phone call, I made the decision to go ahead with the match and meet Samantha. We coordinated a time at her school for the three of us to meet. It was strange, I hadn’t met her yet, but for some reason I was very upset and worried about the fact that she was being bullied. It is something I had never dealt with, and to be honest, wasn’t quite sure how to. As the meeting loomed closer, I grew more excited and more anxious. What is she going to be like? What are we going to talk about? Will she think I’m cool? Why am I worried about a 9-year-old thinking I’m cool? But you’ll have to wait for the next installment of this series to find those things out. (Although some of those questions will never be answered…) Interested in being matched with a Little of your own? You can find more info and sign up to volunteer here! Maybe you don’t have time in your schedule to be a Big right now. You can sign up for Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraiser. Just like the name suggests, you can bowl with a team or as an individual and help raise money for the...

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