Story from Big Brother Mike: 

“I met Graiden my “Little”, at the school I work at in the fall of 2019 and we’ve been connected ever since. It isn’t the typical way for a “Big” and “Little” to be paired, but it has worked out for us. We’ve been on a lot of different adventures, such as, sea-doo rides, swimming in the Bay, golfing, and hikes/walks with my dog Maxi. On days when we aren’t feeling as active, you can find us relaxing by watching movies, playing video games and eating delicious food.

Graiden is such a caring and compassionate boy, and I can only hope he’s learned as much from me as I have from him. Over the last year and a half we have been able to have so much fun, and make many memories. Covid-19 has added challenges, but we’ve been able to maintain a strong connection throughout.

Being a “Big” has been a very rewarding experience, and if you have a “little” bit of extra time, I strongly encourage you to get involved with the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program, you won’t regret it!”

Story from Little Brother Graiden: 

What Graiden enjoys about Big Brothers: “Having a nice friend who is kind, heartful, and funny! He is loving, buys me food, takes me on walks and golfing. He takes me to hockey and watches movies and plays video games with me too.”

 

 

 

 

Story from Big Sister Brooke:

“Over the past 18 months of being matched with Annakah, we have done so much together and have learned so much about each other. From making bracelets, baking, painting nails, walking our dogs, going to community events, crafts, drawing and colouring, and teaching her how to play lacrosse, we have experienced so many great things together, making many great memories to look back on. We have many goals to achieve, like trying new things together, but most importantly, making more memories and visits to look forward to.

As a Big, it has been such a rewarding experience. I have had the privilege of being a big sister for over 3 years now and have been mentoring Annakah for the last 18 months, watching her grow and gain the confidence of such a strong, beautiful young woman. I feel that her presence has made me a much better person.

I am honoured to be a mentor at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Grey Bruce. Whether you are a little, who is an individual who just needs that bit of extra support, or a big, who is someone who has that extra love and support to give, I cannot stress enough how fulfilling it is to be a part of such an amazing organization. There is nothing bigger nor better than watching our youth believe that they can achieve their goals and dreams. Start something BIG.”

Story from Little Sister Annakah:

“I have been a Little with Big Brothers Big Sisters for about 18 months now, and I love the program. My big and I do so much together. We love to bake together, spend time together, and always love to learn new things! I feel comfortable with my Big Sister because she is kind, easy to talk to, and we always find fun things to do. I hope that others enjoy the program as much as I do!”

 

 

Story from Big Sister Steph:

“I have been a Big Sister since January of 2020, and despite most of my time of being a Big through the pandemic, my Little and I have still been able to maintain our relationship through it all. It is fun to be able to provide an outlet for her to chat and joke around with, as well as spend time together when we are able. Being a mentor has been such a positive impact on my life and I look forward to continuing to provide leadership to youth in our community.

Over the last year I have been matched with my Little Crystal. We have been able to do many things together such as sledding, painting, baking, video games and crafts. When Covid hit, we had to modify to a more virtual connection but that hasn’t stopped up from keeping in touch and sending videos and texts to each other. During the summer when it was allowed, we would even take bike rides and walks together to make sure we spent time together!

I have only been a big for a year, but it is an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling experience. I have learned a lot about myself during this last year as well. I decided to become a big to show younger girls that they can do anything they put their minds to! I am a full-time career firefighter, so it is awesome to show young girls what a little hard work can accomplish.

It has been an absolute pleasure seeing Crystal mature as she navigates through high school and is growing into such a beautiful young lady. I’m proud of how she keeps applying herself and how creative she is with anything she puts her mind to!

If you are considering becoming a big brother or sister, I cannot emphasize enough how much of an amazing experience it is to empower youth and watch them achieve their goals and dreams.”

 

Story from Big Brother Larry:

“As a Big, I have to admit that mentoring is a great part of the process. To mentor means to advise a younger colleague. In this case the young’ in is a little brother with no father or older brother in the same household. Most important is that you have a chance to change a life for a disadvantaged little brother.

I’d like to tell you a story. I have been a Big for a number of years and back some time ago I lived near Newmarket and had a Little Brother within the system. On attending a yearly appreciation night for the Bigs, I had at that time finished my fifth year with the same Little guy. Each little had to get up in front of the gathering and give a little speech as to what their BIG meant to them. Well, one of the other littles was relaying his story. He explained that when he and the big started out he wasn’t too keen on the idea. The little was a poor student, skipping class and not doing well. The story went on how the Big patiently gained the little brother’s confidence, started helping him with schoolwork. He started to like school and the grades improved. This little was now 18 yrs. old and with a great satisfaction he announced that his BB and he were heading for McGill University following Tuesday to ENROL HIM IN HIS UNDRGRADUATE studies. This is a person who never would have made this leap if it had not been for the patience and perseverance of the BB. You could see the sense of accomplishment in the big smile!

As for myself, I can still remember the smile on a little sister’s face when she conquered her own fear. It was a funded event for both sexes, and we were at an indoor climbing park. I’ve had experience rock-climbing and volunteered to belay this little sister. She was within about 1/2 metre of making it to the top. I can still here her words “I can’t do this, I am afraid”. I yelled up “I have you on belay, I will not let you fall” and to emphasize the point I pulled down and made sure she could feel I had a hold of her. I coached her to the next foot hold, then the next hand hold and she made it. You should have seen the broad smile and sense of satisfaction on her face, high fives all around from everyone. What a life lesson, proceed with caution, make sure your safe and go beyond your fear!

I am so proud and happy with my Little Brother’s progress learning to ski, ride a two-wheeler, changing from an introverted, quiet Little, into a wonderful talented outgoing chatterbox. I’ve always wanted to help others, and this allows me to be a big kid again without being embarrassed.

If you want a sense of satisfaction, of accomplishment in making a difference, the REWARDS ARE ENDLESS.”

 

Story from Big Brother Tim:

“In September 2003 I signed up for the Big Brothers program hoping to be a mentor. Why? It starts when I met my wife whose family consisted of a single mother with 5 kids (4 girls and one boy). I started hearing how lucky her brother was to a have a Big Brother in his life as he was an extremely positive role model and mentor. She would tell me of activities and things he got to do that he would never have had the opportunity otherwise. We went on to have a family and as they got older, I started remembering the positive influence Big Brothers had on my brother-in-law.

Upon my signing up, I was matched with a young fellow and my positive experience started. We would do things like movie’s, bike riding, hockey games, bowling, etc. My little brother had a little brother himself who was also enrolled in Big Brothers and was waiting for a match. After much discussion with Big Brothers mentoring coordinator, myself, mother and little brothers I became Big Brother to brothers.

The experience was extremely rewarding. There were a number of events that occurred over the next few years in which led to my wife and myself to becoming legal guardian of one of the little brothers who went on to attend College and currently is still in touch regularly. I went on to be a big brother to 3 additional little brothers with positive experiences.”

 

Story form Big Sister Hiba: 

“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be a Big Sister and have spent the last two years getting to know an amazing young woman. We spent time baking, drawing, going for walks (pre-Covid). The best part of being a Big is getting to learn from my Little every time we hung out and getting to try new activities with her. This program truly helps foster friendships between Bigs and Littles. I look forward to continuing my friendship.”

Story from Big Sister Kelsey: 

“Big brother big sisters has been an amazing experience for me. Going into it as a big sister I was nervous to see what the experience was going to be like, but my little sister and I were matched so well! We have some similar interests that we share, and we have some different interests too that we teach each other about. I am surprised by how much I have learned already from my little sister. It’s fun going out and doing fun things with my little but it’s also nice to stay in and watch a movie or a couple episodes from the series we are watching together. It’s nice having a younger friend who provides such a different outlook on the world and reminds me to step back and appreciate the simple things. I always look forward to hanging out with my little each week. We get along great and I can’t wait to see what else our friendship will bring our way. All in all, we have developed a great friendship that I hope will last a very long time.”

Story from Big Brother Kevin: 

“I initially became a Big Brother thinking that I could make a difference in the life of a little kid. I was surprised to find out how much enjoyment I would get out of the relationship as well.
Being a big brother has been like reliving my childhood. It brings back fond memories of playing pick-up hockey and basketball at the local park.
Plus, I have gotten to share my own interests with my little brother. We have spent time rebuilding an old car, playing music, chess and also building a plane. We have tried out skiing and snowboarding.
My little brother has also shared his interests in fishing and swimming with me.
Together we have explored activities new to both of us; such as magic and card tricks, making a potato gun which we entered into the Kemble Pumpkin Chucking contest and got second place and also building a go-cart which didn’t turn out so well… hahahaha.
We also have enjoyed the organized group activities; camping at Cyprus lake, canoeing and hiking.
The time usually flies by and I find that 5 or 6 hours goes by before we know it.
We don’t always make plans to do something specific, sometimes we just meet to hang out and talk, play video games or see a movie.
Hopefully, the time we have spent together has planted seeds in his mind of what he can do when he puts his mind to it.”

Story from Big Sister Cathy: 

“I decided to become a Big Sister last year and I love it! My Little Sister and I plan fun outings and spend time together doing things we both enjoy – hiking, preparing dinner, scrap-booking, swimming, playing card games. We both get so much out of this experience. I feel privileged to be part of this amazing organization and to be doing something to make a real difference in someone’s life. I highly recommend to others that they become involved too!”

Story from Little Sister Kirsten: 

“Joining Big Sisters gave me the opportunity to make a friend. It helped me not only academically, but socially. Without my Big Sister, I would be lost because I love her, and she is a truly amazing person. I am grateful for this experience.”

Story from Big Brother Bob: 

“I’ve been a Big Brother for 3 boys spanning a period of several decades. I can honestly say that this volunteering work has been one of the most rewarding parts of my life, right up there with raising my own children!

While being a Big Brother is major commitment both in time and energy, I have found that the special relationships I was able to develop with the three boys and all the activities and adventures we shared over the years made this a very special part of my life. It’s been also evident that my Little Brothers have benefited greatly from the one-on-one attention of an enthusiastic and committed adult. The monthly “Big Bunch” outings where several Bigs and Littles would get together for activities like a canoe trip, snowshoe trek to some caves, or a rocket making session, have always been an especially enjoyable part of the Big-Little Brother “community” experience.

I heartily recommend that anyone in this area with a bit of time to spare and an interest in mentoring young boys or girls get involved with Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Owen Sound.”