A “Big” Experience Worth Sharing
I have always been interested in volunteering where I can make a difference.
I’ve volunteered with many different organizations such as the American Red Cross, United Way and local food pantries. But the organization that has given me the most satisfaction as a volunteer is Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS).
Through the years I have been matched with three different “Littles.” My first two matches with BBBS ended after about a year because their families moved. The third time was the charm when my wife Nancy and I were matched with Dylan.
Dylan was a typical 10-year-old looking for someone to connect with and spend some quality time. Thirteen years later, that 10-year-old is now 23. He has graduated from high school and started a career at UW Hospital in Madison, Wis. Dylan is about to begin studies to become a radiology or lab technician.
Kids become Little Brothers and Little Sisters for their own personal reasons and I’m sure Dylan could share with you many reasons why he wanted a “big” brother in his life.
I thought I’d share with you some reasons why I became a Big Brother. Being a Big Brother gave me the chance to:
- Influence a child’s life in a positive way.
- Share my life experiences with someone who may learn from them.
- Give back to my community.
- Start a lifelong friendship.
From the very beginning, one hobby I wanted to share with Dylan was my love for bowling. Nancy and I took Dylan to watch me bowl in a league. Not long after that, we joined an adult-child summer league. At first, Dylan didn’t seem to like bowling very much, but I encouraged him to give this sport a chance. He started to make strides in his skills and I encouraged him to join his high school bowling team. Dylan’s successes to date include a 300 game and multiple competition and league awards. He even placed third for his age group in a pro-am tournament. Bowling with Dylan allowed me to fulfill my dream of being someone special in the life of a child.
Dylan has flourished as a young adult. And, I think the life decisions he makes today were definitely shaped by the experiences we shared through our Big Brothers Big Sisters match.
Want to learn more about being a Brother or Big Sister? You can visit the Big Brothers Big Sisters website to learn about becoming a “big” where you live.