Nicky and Dan build a treehouse, while building friendship and confidence.This match is about to celebrate their “Match-A-Versary” which is our name for the one year celebration since they have been matched. Nicky is the Little (what we call the child at BBBS) and Dave is the Big (the adult mentor at BBBS). Nicky is 8 years old, is in 2nd grade and attends Ann Arbor Public Schools.
When we first put a match together we do extensive interviews and home visits with Littles and Bigs so that we can make a thoughtful match where both the Bigs and Littles interests are taken into account. During the interview with the Little, Nicky’s mother, she expressed a concern with Nicky being bullied at school and his lack of friends. She was hoping that through the relationship with a Big it would help with these social issues.
Some of the fun things that Dave and Nicky do together are practice baseball in the park, do dinners at each other’s homes, and participate in events with the Special Olympics.
Recently Dave helped Nicky get one of his very important badges for the cub scouts. The Derby Car badge. Dave and Nicky went through the steps of building a derby car together and they ended up getting 6th place in the race. I’m going to share a quote of what Nick said after the race: “Even though we got 6th place, it wasn’t about winning it was about doing something fun with Dave”.
The most touching story about this match is that Nicky told Dave he has always wanted a tree fort. Dave said “I can do that”, he got lumber deeply discounted through a local company and has begun the process of making Nicky’s dream come true by building him a tree fort in his backyard.
According to Nicky’s mom Nicky has increased his self-confidence and has been able to be more social and make friends at school and the bullying has decreased a lot.
This is just one example of the difference a Big can make in the life of a child. To steal from Michael Jackson “the children are our future” and there are over 15,000 kids at risk in Washtenaw County. Right now we have over 200 kids on our waitlist and WE need MORE Bigs to match with these children and have an impact on their lives.