We asked Big Sister, Andra Stein, what finally inspired her to take the next step, what convinced her the time was right to volunteer. She fired back with a message for all ye fence-sitters: Just do it! Now.
Don’t wait to be a “Big” like I did. If circumstances had been different when I first inquired about volunteering with Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters, I would have been a Big Sister a long time ago.
It was the early 1990s, when I learned about JBBBS through volunteer work in Combined Jewish Philanthropies’ Young Leadership Division. I met several “Bigs” and was intrigued about the relationships they had with their “Littles.” When I inquired about becoming a Big Sister, though, there wasn’t the same need as now, so it was suggested that I check back at another time.
Well, work and life happened. Time flew by, I lived out of the area for four years, and, when I returned, it was suddenly 2011. A good friend, who over the course of many years, had two Little Brothers and was just getting to know a third, suggested I look into the program. It was like lightening had struck. The timing could not have been better emotionally and socially to get involved.
So, once again, I inquired about becoming a Big Sister. This time there was a need. After the interview and screening process, I was matched up with a 14-year-old. We were certainly not matched up according to our height! I am 5’1” and my Little Sister is 5’11″ – maybe taller. (I really can’t tell from way down here at sea level!) While we are physically mismatched, it has never been an issue. I have been very happy with the development of our relationship. We have done some incredible activities together. I feel like we have given each other a special gift of friendship and mentoring.
December 2014 was our three-year anniversary!
The scoop: Right now, over 20 Little Brothers and Sisters are waiting on a right-fit volunteer in our Children’s Programs. Maybe, just maybe, one of them is waiting on you. Here’s an idea. Apply now to volunteer!