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Big Brother (in the good way)

Well, after a thorough background check, an hour-long personal in-home interview, and 4 character reference interviews, I’ve finally been matched up with a little brother through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

If you’re looking for a cause to support, and particularly if you’re male, I’d suggest looking into this. Even if I didn’t feel that way before meeting my little brother, I certainly would after our first meeting together. The first time you meet your little sib, it’s with the sib, the parent(s), and a facilitator from BBBS. Once all the ground rules have been laid out and the introductions have been made, it’s suggested that you go out for a short visit–to get ice cream, or something. So we went to Ted & Wally’s (which I think I’ve mentioned before, but if not: Ted & Wally’s is quite likely the best ice cream in America.), where I got a scoop of Vanilla Malted and Chris got a scoop of Cotton Candy. We sat for about 1/2 an hour and talked and talked and talked.

About 3/4 of the way through, he said “Y’know I had to wait about a year for this.” (meaning being assigned a big brother). Sagely, I said, “That’s a long time.” He nodded and replied, “I think it was worth it.”

It was unbelievably sweet, and made me realize how even 1/2 an hour can make a difference in someone’s life.

In Omaha, Little Brothers are waiting between a year and a year and a half to be matched up with Big Brothers. I’m sure the rates are similar where you live. If you’ve got a a few hours every couple of weeks to spare, you should sign up. I think the demand for Big Sisters isn’t as high, but you’re still needed; so, women, you should sign up, too.

This week we’re going to get together and do something fun. Not sure what yet. Anyone know what 8-year-olds like to do?


  1. Wifety wrote:

    You’re so awesome…will you marry me? Um…I mean, again?

    Wednesday, October 12, 2005 at 11:37 am | Permalink
  2. jefito wrote:

    They like to make messes and break your stuff.

    Thursday, October 13, 2005 at 8:45 am | Permalink
  3. Joel wrote:

    I love the fact I know such a good person. I would try throwing a baseball around.

    Friday, October 14, 2005 at 7:32 am | Permalink
  4. Mr. A wrote:

    Thanks, Joel. He’s actually more into art than athletics. So maybe we *should* throw the ball around–probably be good for me, too. We’re getting together on Wednesday so he can meet Sarah and we’re going to do something ’round here… maybe watch a movie, but I’d rather do something interactive. I’m thinking about teaching him to knit so he can make something for his mom for Christmas, but I think I’ll wait before introducing him to such ‘sissy’ things.

    I should get him little mechanical parts and he can make a fan or something.

    Sunday, October 16, 2005 at 10:07 pm | Permalink
  5. Lisa wrote:

    It’s really great that you’re doing this. It can make a huge difference to a child who may really need a positive male role model. I was a mentor, basically like a big sister, to a 9-year-old boy from Oakland for about a year when I was at Cal. He enjoyed movies (especially Star Wars), sports (playing football and watching it on TV), drawing (he drew football players), reading aloud together (highly recommended; maybe you can go to the library or bookstore), kid’s museums (he loved the Lawrence Hall of Science), and going out to eat. We also did a lot of academic work/tutoring, which was actually fun, but I’m not sure if that’s part of your gig. Even if you’re not tutoring him, you may want to ask him to show you projects that he is proud of that he did for school.

    Thursday, November 24, 2005 at 2:37 pm | Permalink
  6. Mr. A wrote:

    Thanks, Lisa. I think it’s good, too. So far we’ve gone to the zoo, went to see “the Polar Express” at a 3-d Imax theater, played board games with a friend of mine and his Little Brother, watched some of the original Transformers cartoons, made s’mores and went to an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet. He seems to really enjoy our time together.

    The children’s museum and reading together, though–those are good ideas. particularly as it’s gettin’ snowy.

    Thursday, December 8, 2005 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

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