Reasons You Should Volunteer as a Big Sister

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.

Big Sister and Little Sister at the Big Brothers Picnic in Vancouver

Big Sister and Little Sister at the Big Brothers Picnic in Vancouver

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

reasons to volunteer Big Sisters

Reasons You Should Volunteer as a Big Sister

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!

Related to Your Search

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.

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3 Responses

  1. Sarah Rachel Photogr says:

    Your article made me realize that me and my sister haven’t gone out to an outing or bonding for quite awhile and I think we should do this soon.

  2. Laurie says:

    Thanks, Jacqueline, it’s great to hear how long-term your friendship with your Little Sister is! That’s amazing – it really is a life-changing experience.

    Yesterday at the Big Sisters picnic, they handed out awards to the 3 year, 5 year, 10 year, and graduating matches. That was really cool to see. I knew about long-term matches, as a Mentoring Coordinator with Big Brothers, but I think it was excellent for my Little Sister to see how long-lasting our friendship could be.

    I was scared that I wouldn’t connect with her – what if we just didn’t jive? I think that’s the scariest part of being a Big Sister…not “getting” your Little.

  3. Jacqueline says:

    Being a Big Sister was one the best gifts in my life. I met my Little when she was 10. She’s now a remarkable 30 y.o. Running a restaurant and engaging them to donate to Big Sisters (& yes, we started a scrapbook from day one- so fun to look back at it now!).

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