If you’re trying to decide if you should volunteer as a Big Sister or Big Brother, here are a few thoughts that might help you decide if it’s worth your time.
My Little Sister and I went to the Big Brothers picnic in Vancouver today. My husband is a Big Brother, I worked with Big Brothers/Big Sisters organizations in Vancouver and Calgary, and I was a Big Little Sister when I was 11 years old. I still see my Big Sister, after 35 years! Amazing.
I’ve never been big on the whole “this is my life” aspect of blogging – I’m definitely a “quips and tips” gal! I write articles to help people achieve goals, solve problems, and move forward in their lives.
But I want to share a few reasons to volunteer as a Big Sister or Big Brother. My Little Sister had a huge impact on my life – I feel better about who I am and what I’m doing in this world. If you’re already a Big Sister, read Gift Ideas for Your Sister – Nifty and Thrifty
What I Learned On My First Outing With My Little Sister
I’m a professional blogger (ie, I make money from my blogs), and my first outing with my new Little Sister has inspired me to let my personal life creep into my blogs.
Here are a few reasons you should volunteer as a Big Sister or Big Brother, based on my experience with my Little Sister at both the Big Brothers and the Big Sisters picnic. The impact you have on a child’s life is amazing.
Little Sisters watch everything you say and do
I asked for extra watermelon at the Big Sisters picnic, and so did she. I chose a particular type of dessert, and so did she. I marched around asking Big and Little Sisters questions about the “Get to Know You” bingo game, and so did she. Mentoring – which is what Big Sisters and Big Brothers is all about – means you’re constantly being watched.
Is this a reason to volunteer as a Big Sister or Big Brother? Yes, because you learn what a huge impact you have on someone’s life, and how important role modeling is.
Volunteer Big Sisters need to walk the walk – not talk the talk
I can lecture my Little Sister about manners, life skills, and social interaction until I’m blue in the face, and not have any affect on her. But, if I make a point of saying thank you to bus drivers, flowing with schedule changes, not getting miserable when it rains during the Big Sisters picnic, and not criticizing her family — that’s where I’ll make a difference in her life.
Having fun together is life-changing
All I remember about being a Little Sister was roller skating (it was the 80’s, after all), going to a scary movie at the drive in, and going camping. A solid, life-changing mentoring relationship doesn’t have to be about serious heart-to-heart talks about careers, finances, or life decisions. Changing your Little Sister’s life is about showing up once a week, and being enthusiastic about whatever you’re doing. Even if you’re eating cold hot dogs in the pouring rain.
Big Sisters get creative
When you’re first starting a match with Big Sisters or Big Brothers, you should immediately start your scrapbook. My Little Sister and I are talking about what our scrapbook will look like, what we’ll include, and how big it should be. We met a match at the Big Sisters picnic who have just celebrated their first year together, but couldn’t remember most of the activities they did. That’s why a scrapbook is crucial! They’ve decided to start a Second Year Scrapbook, and regret not starting one when they were first matched.
Learning how to be a kid again is awesomeness!!!
We watched a magic show at the Big Sisters picnic that we went to as our first outing, and on the way back I thought my Little Sister say it wasn’t that good. I said agreed with her – I could sorta see how the magician was doing his tricks. But my Little Sister said she thought he WAS a good magician! And here I was, cutting down the magician. I felt horrible, like I’d stolen a big of the magic away. So, on our first outing as Big and Little Sister, I realized that I need to embrace the magic, enthusiasm, and wonder of a child.
Being a Big Sister changes how you see yourself
Research shows mentoring increases the Little Sister or Little Brother’s self-confidence and self-esteem. But, does research reveal how it impacts the Big Sisters and Big Brothers? I don’t know. I do know that one of my Big Brothers (I’m currently working as a Mentoring Coordinator with Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver, which I wrote about in my post about being scared to quit my job) says that being a Big has changed his life.
Are you thinking about volunteering as a Big Sister or Big Brother because you can’t have kids? Read 5 Ideas for Women Who Are Coping With Childlessness.
If you have any questions or thoughts about voluneering as a Big Sister or Big Brother, please comment below!
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Thank you, Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland, for the picnic, for matching me with my Little Sister, and for all the good you do in girls’ and womens’ lives.