Since my “AH HA!” moment last month, my outlook on life has been much more positive. I have been thinking more about things that are really important to me and decided to focus more on those aspects of my life – things that I enjoy doing.
Something that has been extremely important to me for as far back as I can remember is volunteering. I believe the first time that I volunteered was when I was eight years old and I was matched up with a little girl named Kira who was in playschool. It was my job to help her feel comfortable starting elementary school.
So for the last 23 years I have been volunteering with various charities, events, or organizations and for the past 10 years, I have been a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS).
I chose to volunteer with BBBS because I felt like something was missing in my life. A friend of mine was a Big Sister, so I looked up the organization online and read about the different ways one could get involved – I then instantly wanted to become a Big Sister.
My Little Sister and I were matched when she was just 10 years old and in elementary school and I was 21 with one year left of college. Now she is out of high school and I’m married with a baby.
A couple weeks ago I met with our BBBS Case Worker (a Social Worker who facilitates the match) one last time – we closed the match, as my Little Sister is an adult. She had asked me if I had wanted to be matched with another Little Sister, but unfortunately I had to decline as I couldn’t possibly commit to another child knowing we would be moving. That realization broke my heart a bit.
I was quite sad after our meeting. The “official” closing of the match felt so permanent. We began our match at a time when I was also beginning an entirely new chapter in my life and she was a part of the entire journey and I hers. Of course just because our match was closed, doesn’t mean we will not be spending time together anymore (we have plans this weekend). She may not be my official "Little Sister" anymore, but I will always consider her my “Little” and she will forever be my friend.
I know that having my Little Sister in my life helped shape who I am today, and for that I thank her. I highly recommend getting involved with mentoring programs like the ones at Big Brothers Big Sisters. It makes a BIG difference in both of your lives.