March is Women’s History Month. Friend 2 Friend volunteers reflect on the impact of female mentors, the importance of friendship between women and the women who’ve shaped their “herstories.”
Two women are to thank for my amazing friendship with a third woman, my MAGIC match, Lauren. First, I learned about the program through my friend and former colleague, JBBBS Development Officer, Leora Kimmel Greene. While I’m not of the Jewish faith, I love the exposure to culture and ritual and feel so welcome in the agency and in my MAGIC group. Second, my caseworker, Mary, made a very thoughtful match when she put Lauren and me together.
We just celebrated our first anniversary as a MAGIC match. Lauren and I share some important things in common: We have similar personalities and enjoy reality television, sarcasm, and a good belly laugh. As women, it is especially important to care for and support each other, no matter what our circumstances. Lauren encourages me to be a better person and woman, and helps remind me that it is the little things in life that are the most important, after all. For someone – male or female – interested in giving back and making new friends, the MAGIC program is a wonderful cause. It will help you grow richer as a person and citizen of your community.
– Gina, F2F MAGIC volunteer
Growing up, I was surrounded by strong female role models – specifically my mother and grandmother, who raised me to always love and respect myself.
When I went off to college, I followed in the footsteps of my two older sisters and decided to join the Friend 2 Friend program. Not only that, it happened that I was matched with Julie, who was previously matched, at different points, to each of my sisters! Julie was able to maintain a connection to our family while simultaneously building a new friendship with me.
Now, I try to grow those same values of self-respect and self-advocacy in Julie. Some of my favorite moments together are when we enjoy a “self care” day: having lunch together, getting our nails done, and simply catching up. Julie’s enthusiasm for life has taught me a great deal about appreciating the small things – from seeing a great movie to getting in touch with an old friend. In my time with Julie, I have also learned that by getting to know another person and sharing your passions, you develop a common bond with someone who, on the surface, might seem quite different. It’s an invaluable lesson I’m grateful to have learned through involvement in Friend 2 Friend.
– Carina, F2F Community volunteer
I have been a volunteer with the MAGIC program for five years now. I joined on the recommendation of my dear friend and running partner of 10 years, who spoke so highly about her experience volunteering that I got interested myself. I became an empty-nester and decided the time was right. I had always loved volunteering and was looking for a way to “give back,” but, specifically, a way that would allow me to make a more personal connection.
I was paired with my Friend, Kim, and have never looked back. We have wonderful memories of all the awesome activities we have done. We always look forward to the next. It is a very gratifying thing to do: to be a part of someone’s life, especially someone who faces challenges that many of us will never know. Seeing her smiles, her joy, hearing her laughter is so heartwarming. I admire the many women (and men!) I have met who dedicate their time to this wonderful program.
– Kristi, F2F MAGIC volunteer
Change the course of “herstory” today. Right now, girls are waiting to be matched with Big Sisters in our Children’s Programs and women like Lauren, Julie and Kim are craving connection in Friend 2 Friend. Apply now to volunteer.