Big Brothers Big Sisters
A mentoring relationship has turned into a deep and abiding friendship, thanks to the programs offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cashiers and Highlands. To participate or for more information, contact program coordinator Danielle Hernandez-Juarez, at [email protected] or call (828) 399-9133.
Being a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cashiers and Highlands has truly been an incredibly rewarding experience for me over the last eight years. My involvement initially started as being a BIG for a young girl at Blue Ridge School. I went to the school for weekly visits where we would play basketball or play computer games or just simply hang out. Our relationship grew steadily and I knew that I wanted to spend more time with her. My mentoring then went into a Community Based program. This meant I could take her on excursions outside of just school. One week I would choose an activity and the next week she would. Hiking, horseback riding, paddle boarding, kayaking and art galleries were some of our favorite activities to do together. It was the one on one that I really cherished and I knew she looked forward to it too.
Seeing how rewarding this mentoring was, I then asked to join the BBBS council. I knew I wanted to help make the program bigger and even a better program for our local community. I have been on the Council for six years and now, I am Chairwoman for the council. Since joining we have established a scholarship program for our graduating Littles, have various fund raising events such as our annual croquet tournament held at Country Club of Sapphire Valley and increased our monthly activities for the Littles and the Bigs to attend. Last week, we had nine families participate in the first Christmas event at Tom Sawyer’s Tree Farm. Each family received a Christmas tree, ornaments to decorate, a visit to see Santa, an educational tour of the farm and hot chocolate to finish the day.
This year have seen a major shift in our abilities to raise funds to support our local program. We simply need more money to continue to support our Littles as well as more Mentors/Bigs. If you ever thought about being a Big Brother or a Big Sister, I would encourage you. It’s truly a rewarding experience and the impact you can make on a child is priceless and forever life changing. If you don’t have the time but want to make a difference then a donation is always welcome.
by Nancy Heck Albers
Advisory Council Chairman
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cashiers