After Kim’s Little Sister moved away, she received an email while on vacation from Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters with another potential Little. Kim told her friends and husband, who also is a Big, she wouldn’t get involved again unless she could meet the Little’s mother first. “It was important to me,” Kim said.
Goose bump time. While dining at a local restaurant, Kim said she “hit it off big time” with her party’s server. They got to talking about YBBBS, and the server said she recently had enrolled her children in the program; one already had a match and she was waiting for a reply from a woman named Kim for another. Long story short: the server is the mother of the potential Little Sister Kim had just learned of and was considering. Three weeks later, Kim and her new Little Jewels have enjoyed a couple of kayaking adventures – in matching sun hats, no less – in addition to mall and swap meet shopping trips.
“She seems to be up for anything,” Kim said. “She likes shopping, but I want to get her outside and she does well with that. We’re making it all work.”
“I was a little nervous at first,” 11-year-old Jewels said of her first adventure in a double kayak. “Kim went in the back and I went in the front. We had to go through the “mossy stuff” (seaweed in Watson Lake), and then it was OK.”
Too windy for kayaking the following weekend, the pair headed for the mall and scored plenty of jewelry on a three-for-$1 sale. So with the $3 Jewels had saved up for just such an occasion, she said she “went home with multiple bags,” including several items for her younger sister.
Kim grinned while a still-excited Jewels added, “Mom and I went back and there was new stuff with the same sale, so I got a pair of heart suspenders and some fake nails.”
“It’s nice for the mom to know she’s in the loop,” Kim noted.
At the swap meet, Jewels was looking for sunglasses but “completely forgot about them” when she got to hold a hairless rat named Puddin’ that belonged to one of the vendors.
“Jewels loves all animals,” Kim said. So perhaps a future outing will find them at the zoo. Both Big and Little are raring to explore their world.
Being a Big usually involves a few hours a couple of times a month, but the time and emotional investment is up to the individuals. They may opt to get together as often as possible, especially in the summer before school resumes, just like Kim and Jewels.
Currently YBBBS particularly is in need of Big Brothers. Anyone interested in becoming a Big can call 928-778-5135, or if you can’t be a Big, how about supporting a Big? The Arizona State Tax Credit is one way to do so. YBBBS always can use volunteer office help and has other ways people can be involved, as well. Go ahead – pick up the phone and call today.
Jewels was a featured Child of the Week in a June issue of the Courier, and this successful match just goes to show how quickly the program can work.