I became a Big Sister in College, 45 years ago, to a girl with Downs Syndrome. I signed up this time 1 1/2 years ago but did not start until three months ago due to dealing with my son's Mental Illness and suicide seven months ago. I was hoping for a 6-year-old Spanish speaking boy of a single parent household (like mine) who attends our neighborhood school. My "Little", Cesar is exactly what I had been hoping for, and more, and he has brought me immeasurable joy, especially now during my profound grief. We have a lot of fun together going to swimming lessons, playing with my dogs, feeding ducks, and going to the library so he can use the computer. We read together, play at the park, play soccer, make and write cards, visit horses and eat a lot of ice cream and his favorite, hot chocolate. We were very fortunate to receive a scholarship from Big Brothers and Sisters so I could obtain swimming lessons, group and private, for Cesar and we will soon be swimming in my pool with my dogs! We had a fantastic time on the Boat Cruise where Cesar was able to steer the boat for 20 minutes! The program provided Cesar with his first bike, and also one for his brother who has Autism. The program provides other activities-can't wait for the Family Picnic, that his Mother would not be able to afford. They also give a wide range of ideas of activities for us to do together that are free. In the training they give a lot of information on child development, what our role is and how to handle difficult situations. I am so grateful to our Counselor, Tania, who made a perfect match for us and keeps me constantly informed of events and sends pictures that have been taken of us. I cannot say enough about what Cesar has meant to me in my life, and our relationship continues to blossom. He has opportunities that he would otherwise not have and I get this new energetic, open, talkative, affectionate, smart child in my life. The only drawback is having to say I cannot take his brother with us because he is not in the program. It breaks our hearts to leave him behind. We desperately need more volunteers and we need full time staff to continue to do a great job. I had spent 35 years as a Clinical Social Worker with a very rewarding career and 35 years volunteering in different capacities. This has, by far, been at the top of my experiences and I hope others will consider becoming involved. It is extremely rewarding.
It has been a great experience working with BBBS North Bay. I was matched with my "Little" more than a year ago. There have been numerous events arranged by BBBS that were free of any charge. They included a Bay cruise, a picnic, an airplane ride, fishing, visiting a ranch, and bowling. They work to make both "Big" and "Little" experiences memorable and lasting. Definitely worth an inquiry if you want to spend time with a child in need.
In January 2015, I became a Big Brother through Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the North Bay. During the 80's and early 90's, I had been a Big Brother and had thoroughly enjoyed having a little brother for 9 years.
In this recent experience (2015), the application process was seamless yet very thorough. The staff at the agency was professional, competent and thorough. During the match process, I experienced the same level of professionalism and competence.
During the past eighteen months, my match with my little brother has been extremely rewarding. The professional staff contacts me regularly for feedback and offers assistance on any issue (although there have not been any issues). I feel completely supported by the agency and believe that they are extremely competent.
I enjoy every outing with my little brother, Erick. Whether we play soccer, basketball, baseball, football, tennis or enjoy a pizza, Jamba Juice or hot chocolate, we have a fabulous time. He is a delightful youngster.
Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the North Bay does an excellent job in every respect. My experience with the Agency, the match and the professionals at the Agency has been fantastic.
I have been a Big Brother for approximately 5 years and have thoroughly enjoyed the program from all aspects. I was matched with my Lil Bro when he was 10, and we’ve remained in close contact ever since. I did not have children of my own, so this experience has taught me a tremendous amount and I appreciate all he has done for me, by just being himself.
The match process was clearly thought out, thorough, and well executed. Each and every one of the counselors I’ve worked with has been very supportive and responsive. There was one time that I needed their assistance, and without a doubt they handled it promptly and professionally, which reinforced the overall efficacy of the BBBS program in my mind.
I have also become a BBBS Ambassador in order to support the program however I can, and to provide assistance to the counselors in their recruiting efforts, especially for the male gender. Because I have a good working relationship and the utmost respect for the counselors in this program, it makes my additional volunteer work with them very easy.
This organization is truly helping young persons who just need an adult presence other than a parent or in addition to a parent with an adult who also might need a youthful perspective or a little more fun in his life.
I got involved with BBBS of the NB back in 2009 when I was matched with my little. Its been an outstanding experience so far. The match process was detailed and it took more than 3 months for the staff to find the right "little." They really try to make a good match. The time with him flies by and we never run out of things to do. BBBS has many opportunities for activities and great outings. Most of the time we just play catch or go to the driving range. The support from the staff is consistent and always there. I'm thankful for my time volunteering at this organization.
I started my relationship with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Bay January of 2016. I was paired up with my little sister and was surprised at how well the organization did with matching us. We have so much in common with likes, dislikes and some personal experiences, which made establishing our relationship that much faster. We both genuinely enjoy our time together! I joined the program thinking I would be able to give back to my community and provide value as another person in my little's network to help guild and inspire this young girl. To my surprise, my little is contributing so much to my life and this experience if off to a wonderful start! Paula Hampton
My doggie, Truman, just loves my Little, Stephanie Lopez! He loves her almost as much as I do. The first time I met Stephanie, I knew she was the perfect one for me! She was 7, now she is 11. We have had sooo many wonderful adventures and experiences together. We have ice skated at Snoopys, played games, painted and drawn, finished puzzles and gone to the symphony and parks, etc.
Every minute with her is a joy, and she still is the most perfect girl for me- and I believe I am perfect for her. She draws pictures thanking me for being her Big. I thank God for her!
I have been meeting with my Little Sister for 7 years as her Big Sister, starting in Aug. 2009. My Little was 10 years old then, and now she's 17. The first years of my Little's high school career were spent failing classes.It was very frustrating since I know how smart she is.
With help from many adults in my Little's life, including myself, she was admitted to a Legacy Program which is a self contained classroom, an alternative high school program. She's attending all her classes, getting "good grades" and has a good chance of graduating at the end of her senior year. Our BBBS counselor, Tania, has been a big help when there have been some situations with my Little or when speaking to her Spanish speaking mother is needed.
My Little has gone though some traumas and continues to deal with the aftermath of those, but she seems to know that I'm "there for her" and a trusted, consistent adult in her life. BBBS has allowed for opportunities to have fun with a young adult and to be as important to her life as she is to mine.
I became a 'big sister' in December last year. I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to impact my little sister positively by sharing time together and exposing her to new experiences. For the few months we have been together, I have received great feedback from her mom and how happy she is that I am in her daughter's life. Sometimes you do not realize a small thing/gesture you do means so much to them. BBBS organization is very well ran with such committed counselors and staff to support the 'big' and 'little' relationship. It is really a labor of love from them. I have a ten year old daughter and she already told me she wants to be a big sister when she grows up. It is a win-win situation for me and all involved. I hope more and more people support this great organization.