A Night to Remember: BIG Hearts for Little Hands

img_1326Last night my husband and I attended the fundraising dinner for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Palm Beach and Martin Counties. I have volunteered as a mentor with this great organization for almost three years, but  have never attended their fancy fundraising dinner before last night. I’m so glad I was able to go–it was a really fun date night with a special purpose.

State Attorney Dave Aronberg of Palm Beach County was the guest speaker and his remarks touched on the power of mentoring programs to keep children out of the juvenile court system. Despite the studies which show powerful results of mentoring programs, funding for BBBS continues to take a hit each year, which makes private funding more important now than ever.

I was nominated this year for Big Sister of the Year. Out of over 500 matches, I was pretty honored to make it into the running for the prize. I did not win, but was asked to prepare a short acceptance speech on what being a big has meant to me. It was a neat reflective exercise, so I have decided to share it below:

I grew up in a home with two parents who cherished me and worked hard to provide me with opportunities to follow my passions, meet new people of all different backgrounds, connect to my community and try new things. Being a Big allows me to take that journey, to a lesser extent, with a bright caring little person who I care deeply about. My little is my friend and being with her brightens my week. I’m pretty certain she has taught me just as much as I have tried to teach her. Her childhood is much different than mine was, but being with her has developed in me a gratefulness for what life has to offer. I also just have a lot of fun getting to try things again through her eyes. We both appreciate the work Big Brothers Big Sisters does. Thank you very much for your support tonight and throughout the year to keep making matches like my little and mine possible.


Please consider how you might be able to reach out make a difference in your community in a way that utilizes your special gifts–even if it requires you to step outside of your comfort zone. If  you have any questions about Big Brothers Big Sisters, please don’t hesitate to ask me. I am happy to share my experiences.

Chocolate Fever by Robert Kimmel Smith

Chocolate FeverChocolate Fever by Robert Kimmel Smith

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

My little and I read this story together. She is nine years old and picked it out herself. She seemed to like it well enough. The thought of a kid eating too much chocolate and getting caught in a dangerous adventure when he tries to run away from his problems was fun for her. The vocabulary was enough of a stretch, that it was a good learning experience. I was not impressed with the book, however. It was just too dated and not as relevant for her as I would have hoped. It’s not really one I will recommend to others.

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Photo Scavenger Hunt at the Library

ImageToday’s activity with my Little was to visit the Cummings Library in Palm City, FL. We went on a photo scavenger hunt and played with some of the cool tech tools they have at this library. We searched the online catalog for poetry book ideas, scanned the shelves, recited poetry on the cool kids’ stage, took photos of some of the great artwork in the building, made funny poses in front of the green screen and finished off with making silly faces with the fun backgrounds available on photo booth using one of the iMacs the library has available for patron use. Some of the unexpected fun moments included being told by my Little which of the Magic Tree House books I needed to read immediately and receiving assistance from a very special librarian friend. It was a great day at one of my favorite places.

More information about the Martin County Library System: http://www.library.martin.fl.us/
More information about Big Brothers Big Sisters: http://www.mentorbig.org/