Tell me why you decided to become a “Big Sister”?
That’s a funny answer I think… It was a pretty selfish reason. I don’t have my own children and sometimes I want to do things that people with children get to do! So, I guess initially it was so I could have someone to do fun things with.
Has it been what you expected it to be?
No, not at all. It’s better, and different from what I expected. I think I’ve learned so much more from my “Little Sister” than she will ever learn from me. I think I went into our first year always worried about “What activities I should plan? What we should do?”, calculating what our time together would look like. And I’ve come to realize it’s just time… The other day we did my groceries! We hung out, and talked, and laughed, and were silly in the grocery store. So it’s not what I expected, but yet it’s so much better!
Is there something that your “Little Sister” really loves that you get to experience with her?
The first thing that comes to mind is baking! I don’t know if it’s the actual baking, or the fact that at the end there’s something with chocolate in it that she gets to eat. I try to bring in new recipes but her favorite is Brownies! We bake a lot, it’s something she consistently wants to do, and she gets to bring it home to share with family and neighbours. I enjoy getting to do that with her one-on-one. I know she doesn’t really get to do that at home, so it’s nice that it’s “our thing”.
Why should people give their time to a “Little”?
Why not? It’s so easy. I don’t know why I waited as long as I did. I was interested in the idea of being a “Big Sister” 5 years before I contacted the agency, but I was too busy, and I was traveling. It’s ridiculous – it’s the easiest way to spend time and be considered a volunteer. I mean, it requires so little effort. I pick her up, we figure out what we are going to do that day, once in a while we plan something different or special, but it’s so easy and fun. It’s introducing a kid to different things; including simple everyday things.
Why do you think some people are hesitant to volunteer?
I think any time you commit to something it can be a little frightening; especially since there’s a kid involved. You don’t want to make a promise and not be able to follow through. To waltz into a young person’s life and then waltz back out would not be fair – so consistency and responsibility are important. I’ve grown to learn that my “Little Sister” relies on me. Those few hours a week are “no big deal” out of my schedule, and they give me the chance to see the world in a different way, and have fun (and do childish things a thirty something normally couldn’t get away with), but to her those few hours are HUGE.