Craig & Chance

Sometimes it’s only a little time together that makes the biggest impact on a young life.

When Craig first met his “Little Brother” two years ago, he had no idea how something like paper football could change the way a person sees the world. It was a short step to kicking an actual football out on the playground at recess.

Through Big Brothers Big Sisters, mentors and students meet at school for between a half-hour and 45 minutes once per week over the child’s lunchtime. Adults and kids are paired based on personality and shared interests. A mutual enthusiasm for sports made Craig and his “LB” a good match.

Within the context of eating, reading, talking and spending time with his mentor, a child soaks his Big Bro’s confidence and mannerisms. A lot of times even nurturing parents don’t have that much solid time to give undivided attention. Providing this simple thing consistently can mean a lot to a child, without being a huge time commitment from a volunteer’s work week.

One lunch per week. One life impacted.

And often two.

“Chance had a great personality before I ever met him,” Craig says. “He is the kind of kid I would have been friends with when I went to school.”

Craig says his young wing-man is a thoughtful, conscientious person by nature. It makes it fun to visit and help model positive, respectful behaviors towards his school peers and teachers, too. It’s a nice opportunity to escape the workday for a brief reunion with elementary school. Best of all, he gets to meet Chance on the child’s own turf. What better way to identify with the factors facing his Little Brother as he grows?

Like most volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Craig is affected by his involvement with the program just like the kids who are enrolled. There are others like Chance just waiting to meet the person who can take time aside especially for them.

Volunteer mentors get to encourage their matched student in both studies and in life. They are not perfect people, but each of us has a perfect opportunity to affect the future.