As a Junior and Senior in high school, I was a very active participant of Big Brother's, Big Sister's of Columbus. It's a program for children who don't have a great home life and are nominated by their teacher or parents to be paired with someone to be their friend. I was paired with Nancy, who was a third grader at a local elementary school when I was a Junior. I visited Nancy once a week during lunch time and we played games, read, did crafts, occasionally did homework and tried to fit in any other things she wanted to do. I was with Nancy for two years so I got to know her very well & she told the director of the program that she felt like I was her real big sister!
For the two years I was involved in Big Brother's Big Sister's, my mom was volunteering with Book Buddies. She would go to the same elementary school once a week during her lunch break and help 2nd graders who were struggling with reading. She really enjoyed her time with the kids.
So, as last year came to a close, we began thinking about the fact that when I left, Nancy would no longer have a big sister. It takes a long time for kids to get pushed through the process. There are a lot of children waiting for Bigs. It just seemed fitting that my mom would become Nancy's big sister this year.
Things changed though, because since I was in high school when I was Nancy's big sister, I had to visit her only during her lunch hour once a week and I wasn't allowed to have any outside contact. However, as an adult my mom is a "community based" mentor and picks Nancy up once a week for a few hours so that they can do something fun.
Nancy had never been to a restaurant before my mom took her, so that is pretty much an every Saturday morning thing: Breakfast. Sometimes they bake together, sometimes they play games or do puzzles or go to the Farmer's Market but it never fails, Nancy always wants to play the Wii.
Today was a "Nancy Day" so while I was sitting on the couch, in walked Nancy and my momma, ready to make some breakfast and play some Wii.
Nancy wouldn't smile until mom tickled her!
Wii obstacle course
She got worn out quickly, so it was mom's turn
Maggie watched from the couch
Mom fell off the obstacle course again. She's saying, "I can't believe I did it again!!"
The next 2 pictures were taken by Nancy
I'm not gonna lie, being a big sister to Nancy isn't always roses. Sometimes she's really difficult, today she wanted to take home basically all of the food in our house. But she needs someone, she needs someone badly. And I swear, seeing her face light up at new experiences is one of the most rewarding things ever.
What are you doing for your community? The possibilities are endless, especially during the holidays. Get out and see what you can do to help someone less fortunate than you. It's one of the best feelings you can have, pinky promise.