Last 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.