Becoming a Big Sister at Thirty-Eight
In February of 2016 I made one of the best decisions I've made in a long time - I applied to be a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. There was an extensive application process which included an in-person interview, background checks, a home inspection, and waiting for BBBS to find the right match. Finally, in December of 2016, at the age of thirty-eight, I became a big sister for the third time in my life.
Recently, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Sacramento Area named me and my little sister, Bella, their first ever "Match of the Month" and I couldn't feel more honored! I thought this would be the perfect time to share my experience and encourage anyone who may be considering a volunteer opportunity with BBBS to make the leap. You definitely won't regret it!
Why I Decided to Volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters
I’ve been a big sister most of my life - since I was 2-1/2 to be exact. Two days after my little brother Bob arrived home, I apparently told my parents he was “okay” but that they could “take him back to the hospital now.”
At seven years old, I learned that I was going to be a big sister again, so I kept my fingers crossed for a little sister. I guess I didn’t cross them hard enough because baby brother Daniel was soon added to the sibling roster.
So, being the imaginative child Sesame Street always taught me to be, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I had plenty of dolls that my grandma had sewn beautiful handmade clothes for… which just happened to fit newborn baby Daniel (aka Danielle) perfectly. BAM. Like magic, I had a little sister.
Lucky for Daniel, I don't have any pictures of him dressed up, but I do have this gem of him and my grandma, who I obviously inherited my sense of humor from.
Unfortunately, Daniel very quickly grew out of my doll clothes, so my cat, Blueberry Muffin, kindly agreed to take over the roll of baby sister, allowing me to dress her up in the doll clothes instead. As you can see by the picture, she was absolutely thrilled to be a part of my imaginary fantasy world.
I love my brothers, Bob and Dan, to the moon and back and couldn’t have wished for more awesome siblings. But the desire for a little sister never really went away. And since Daniel now towers around 6’5”, doesn’t fit in doll clothes, and would punch me in the face if I tried to dress him up as a girl, Big Brothers Big Sisters seemed to be the best alternative to getting beat up.
What I Love About Being a Big Sister
Bella and I have so much fun together. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing, we’re always enjoying each other’s company. We’ve been bowling, on a steam engine, to a Kings game, a River Cats game, on a scavenger hunt, bowling, on a sailboat, to the IMAX, the waterpark, and everything in between. But I’d have to say our most favorite thing to do together is blast Spotify and sing karaoke at the top of our lungs in the car (we’re really quite amazing will probably start our own band soon).
My favorite thing about being Bella’s big sister is seeing our friendship grow and strengthen every day. Although we’ve been matched for less than a year, we’ve already developed a strong friendship that is incredibly rewarding and that I know will be life-long.
While mentoring is obviously a part of our relationship, I really love the part where we can just act like kids together. Not like I should need an excuse to scream like a little girl when going down a waterslide, or rock out to Taylor Swift, but having Bella there makes it all the more fun (and a little less embarrassing compared to me doing those things as a grown adult woman by myself).
My Hope for Bella's Future
Bella is strong, creative, intelligent, funny, thoughtful, appreciative, and extremely clever. She has an incredibly bright future ahead of her and I am so thankful to be a part of her life. My hope for Bella is that she is forever happy, always blessed, and consistently given all the opportunities she deserves. I feel so fortunate to be one of the adults in her life that gets to walk next to her on her journey into adulthood and beyond.
How You Can Change Lives in Your Community
Big Brothers Big Sisters is an amazing organization that I can't speak highly enough about. If you can find time a few days a month to mentor and spend time with a child in your community, I highly recommend and encourage this mutually rewarding experience.
Have a hectic schedule and not able to commit to volunteering? No worries! Please consider a tax-deductible donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Are you a business owner? Make an impact in your neighborhood, community, and within your business by becoming a Community Partner.
And of course, if you have questions about the volunteer experience, I would love to chat with you! Please feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 916.708.3297.