Here we are, less than a week to go before the Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl For Kids’ Sake event at Village Bowl! The teams are gearing up and collecting donations from across Wichita Falls to support an organization that’s been providing support and mentoring to at risk kids for more than 100 years.
In Part I of this series we talked about what Big Brothers Big Sisters of Wichita Falls is and how they're involved in our community.
In Part II of this series we talked about the huge impact that the mentoring and friendship between the "Big" and "Little" has on the life of a child in our community.
In today’s post we’ll look at a couple of the "Big" to "Little" matchups right here in Wichita Falls.
Hannah Knauss, a military spouse, has worked being a Big into her everyday life easily.
“It’s not an additional activity you do a couple of times a month, but a part of your life,” says Knauss. “I’m able to fit my Little Sister into my busy schedule by doing things that we both enjoy such as baking, scrap booking or just going for a walk. Once you find activities you both enjoy, it’s easy to find time to have fun.”
Children matched in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program are statistically proven to be 52 percent less likely to skip school and 46 percent less likely to start using drugs, and Knauss agrees. “Having a mentor and positive role model is what children and teens need in their life to keep them on the right track.”
1st Lt. Ryan Rutter says being a Big has never been a conflict with his schedule. “I enjoy the time I get to spend with my Little, so I’ve never thought of the commitment as another task. During weeks when I find myself short on time, I still incorporate time with my Little into my schedule even if it’s just taking him with me to the supermarket. It’s time we both can share.”
And the time commitment isn’t huge. Once you decide to become a Big, just one hour twice a month is all it takes. And the hours, though few, are precious in the eyes of a child who looks up to you.
“There are a lot of great kids out there who just need someone to look up to. I’m a Big because it allows me to be a friend to someone who needs just that,” Rutter states.
2nd Lt. Tim Stapleton echoes those feelings.
“Being involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters is a lot more fun than I had expected. I was lucky enough to be matched with a Little I have a lot in common with. I don’t even think of it as volunteering or community service,” Tim says. “Instead, I just go out and have a lot of fun and I’m glad that I can have a positive impact in the process.”
Being in the Air Force means you have to put the needs of the service before anything else. “Logistically, Big Brothers Big Sisters works around my schedule better than any other organization I have ever worked with. The flexibility of being able to schedule time with my Little on our terms is great.”
“An active lifestyle and busy schedule shouldn’t prevent anyone from being able to share a couple of hours a month with a child looking for a mentor,” Hogue remarks. “Becoming a Big is a big deal to the child, but not a big time constraint on your calendar.” (Info provided by Big Brothers Big Sisters via Wichita Falls Times Record News)
To find out more about how you can become a “Big” contact the local Big Brothers Big Sisters office at 940.767.2447 or e-mail Kem Hogue at email@example.com.
Next time we’ll discuss how you could win a 42 inch TV set from Best Buy by becoming a “Big”! As if you really needed another reason.