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DeniseBarkhurst

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas
January 6, 2011

Over 6 years ago I met a shy little kindergarten boy named Christian at his elementary school. I became his Big Sister - a mentor. We met several times a month at his school for about a year and a half. We played cards, went to the library, ate lunch, and sometimes I just watched him on the playground with his friends. I taught him how to shuffle cards and he gave me a card shuffler for Christmas that year. During the holidays we always did crafts. This was the beginning of our mutual love for Halloween activities.

Eventually we transferred our "match" from the school to the community. This opened up the opportunity to explore many other activities. We went to hockey and basketball games, ran errands, did lots of Big Brothers Big Sisters events, and went out to eat. I found out that he falls asleep in movies and he loves to wash the car.

Today he is in middle school - the 7th grade, age 12. Adolescence looms, and having raised 2 teenage girls myself, I know that there will be challenges. We both have very hectic lives, but we still find time to get together. I will always be his Big Sister and he will always be my Little Brother, and I look forward to seeing him grow up. He has become a part of my family and I have become a part of his family. The "Big-Little" relationship is like no other relationship I have ever had in my life. Christian is also very close with my two youngest daughters, especially my 8 year old. She is very tall for her age and Chris is just waiting to see how quickly she gets taller than him (its very close, less than an inch away).

Big Brothers Big Sisters is an amazing organization that has been creating the kind of wonderful relationships like the one I have with Christian for over 100 years. If every kid had a Big Brother or Big Sister, our country would be a better place for kids to grow up! If every adult had a Little Brother or Little Sister, their lives would be significantly enriched and they would be changed forever.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

spending time with a kid for 6 years and maintaining a flexible mentoring relationship that enriches both of our lives

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make sure that every kid on the waiting list had a Big Brother or Big Sister

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & Mentor a youth.