To Bigs, with Love

By Betsy Thurow, Match Support Specialist

Being a mentor of any type is amazing. You give of yourself to help someone else and make a difference in the world. Being a Big through Big Brothers Big Sisters is even better. You dedicate a year (or more) of your life to defend the potential of a local child. You are, indeed, dedicated to something bigger than yourself.

You are a dedicated Big. You go along seeing your Little monthly or even weekly, having fun and teaching each other new things. Let’s be honest, you are probably learning much more than your Little, but that’s okay. You are both enjoying your match. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, everything changes.

Your Little’s school shuts down. The restaurants the two of you frequent are closed, as is the museum you had planned on visiting and the parade you were going to watch is canceled. So what now?

First of all, remember that this pandemic puts everyone in uncharted territory. From the President to the owner of your local pub, everyone is just figuring things out as they go. We are all doing the best we can with what we know in the moment. How you approach your match with your Little won’t be any different than everything else in your life right now.

The people who told us to practice “social distancing” are now saying “physical distancing” because it is important to stay in contact with your social circle, including your Little. We live in a time with myriad ways to communicate, so use them. Facetime; email; bring out the envelopes and stamps and write an old-fashioned letter.  Your match will survive. We will all survive these uncertain times.

Betsy with her Little, Ahliyah. They are the 2020 Big Sister/Little Sister Match of the Year. They’ve been matched for over 7 years.

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