One Donation. One Little's Potential.

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A Letter from a Big

Hailie and I have been matched for nearly two years, and we started a bit unusually. My husband and I — who had been discussed becoming Bigs for a couple of years before we finally signed up — had been matched together with a Little Brother a year when Hailie’s Big moved away. Our Little, who is Hailie’s biological little brother, agreed to give up his Big couple so I could pair with Hailie. I had met her a few times and learned quickly that we had several interests and strengths in common: We both like theater and music and learning about the world, and we both preferred reading and writing to math any day. We thought we’d be a good fit, and it has worked out well. This way, my husband and I can mentor a brother and sister and spend some times together, but other times apart. Hailie and her brother are usually happy to go get ice cream or dinner together, but we also know a pair of young teen siblings need their own spaces, too.

It’s been so fun to watch Hailie, who was 12 when we were officially matched, grow into a conscientious, inquisitive, resilient and daring young woman. Those characteristics are serving her well as she’s started high school and is thinking seriously about her future. She’s gotten more confident and willing to try new things — and she gets me to try some things, too. Bravely, late last winter we both ice skated for the first time, where we scooted along very very slowly and deliberately clinging to the side of the rink, and occasionally to each other.

I became interested in becoming a Big when I learned about research showing the vital and important role that mentors can play in helping at-risk children. But I underestimated how being Hailie’s Big would benefit, enhance and change my life. - Kathy