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Feb 10 2009

Big Brothers Big Sisters

This March will mark the two-year anniversary of my match with a delightful young lady named Jessica, who is 10 years old, and with the permission of her family and Big Brothers Big Sisters, I will be posting articles about our activities and the good times we share. For many of these articles, Jessica will be contributing as well, so stay tuned! We should have lots of good stuff for you.

A little bit about our match

Jessica and I were matched when she was eight years old, based primarily on a shared love of art and drawing, painting, and other artsy things. We meet once per week, generally on Mondays for about three hours, and either cook dinner or eat out, and then have some sort of activity for the remainder of the evening. Sometimes we vary it up, especially if we go somewhere that is closed on Mondays, but generally we stick to Mondays since we’re both involved in other things during the week.

Jessica will be my flower girl in October, and has already helped me with lots of wedding-related tasks. We will be shopping for her dress sometime this summer!

So what sort of things do we do?

In warm weather, we do a lot of outdoor activities. My apartment complex has a pool, and summer Mondays are generally spent pretending we are mermaids and convincing Jessica she can swim in water deeper than four feet. When we aren’t swimming, we love to draw, paint, color, walk around the mall, dress up and do our hair and makeup, take pictures, scrapbook, play in parks, and watch movies, among other things. We try to see plays as often as possible (luckily BBBS works pretty tirelessly to get us free event tickets). We usually manage to have a good time without spending a lot of money, although sometimes we have a good splurge on something or another.

And we aren’t on our own, of course. BBBS puts on “Match Activities” every few months. Our favorite so far was a Halloween bonfire, complete with hayrides, bobbing for apples, and hot dogs and s’mores, closely followed by Glow Bowling. We don’t participate in every activity, but they are always very enjoyable.

Sound like fun?

Big Brothers Big Sisters provides an opportunity for a child aged 6-14 to receive one-on-one mentoring from a caring adult. Often, these children come from single-parent, multiple-sibling families, or families where the parent(s) work multiple jobs, and their parents feel that the children would benefit from time spent with a role-model and close friend.

If you are willing to commit just a few hours per week for one year, or want to learn more about the other types of mentoring programs available through BBBS, please feel free to leave me a comment here, or visit http://www.bigbro.com/ to find out more about volunteering. You’ll make a difference not only your Little’s life, but also your own.

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