As the Celebrity Ambassador for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa, I’m proud to bring to you this month’s “Abby’s Little of the Month.” As the need for mentors in our area continues, we want to make sure everyone knows the impact being a mentor and having a mentor can have. We are proud to share this story of a successful match between a Little and his Big, ‘ A Growing Friendship.’
Almost a year ago Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa launched Beyond School Walls with CUNA Mutual Group in Waverly. This workplace mentoring program connects Littles with employees in their work setting. During the school year Little/Big matches meet every other week at CUNA’s offices.
Dave, a CUNA Mutual employee, had long considered becoming a Big Brother. With Beyond School Walls, he knew it was time. Dave says this program option made everything simple and took away his “I don’t have time.” excuses.
8-year-old Evan’s mother enrolled him in the program after his father unexpectedly passed away. She wanted to ensure Evan had a male mentor he could rely on and look up to, as well as receive quality one on one time he wouldn’t need to share with his siblings.
Little Brother Evan and Big Brother Dave have been matched since last October.
Through Beyond School Walls, Dave and Evan have enjoyed scavenger hunts in the CUNA courtyard, played board games and walked by the company ponds. After so much fun this past school year they became a site based plus match so they could spend time in the community together, as well as at CUNA. They’ve been to the park, played catch, attended Irish Fest and gone on adventures geocaching.
Evan’s mom reports the biggest impact Dave has had on Evan’s life is the confidence he’s gained from being with his Big Brother. Dave is a caring adult who shares quality time with his Little Brother. When asked what he would say to other men about becoming a Big Brother, Dave replied “JUST DO IT! It sounds cliché, but you will get more out of it than you will give. It’s definitely worth it!”
We honor Evan and Dave as the Match Spotlight for August!
To learn more about “Abby’s Little of the Month” initiative and to become a Big Brother like Dave, click here.
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