Linda has fond childhood memories from when she was a “Little” in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Several years ago, she reconnected with her former Big Sister, Shirley, and now they have regular lunches and get-togethers. Remembering how much Shirley helped her, Linda decided to pay it forward and become a Big Sister herself.
Last year, Linda was matched with 7 year old Addison. Initially, Linda was a little nervous about being on the “Big” side of a match, but she quickly grew comfortable with her “Little” and realized how the little things make a real impact in Addison’s life.
Linda strives to build basic skills and life lessons into many of their activities. Linda and Addison enjoy playing at the park and going out for lunch, but they usually just spend time at Linda’s house, where Addison loves to play with Linda’s dog and walk around the large yard. Linda and Addison also love to bake cookies, and Addison always takes some home for her mom.
They’ve also visited the Kettle Moraine YMCA together. The YMCA allows matches from Big Brothers Big Sisters to use their facilities free of charge whenever they are together. Health issues limit what Addison’s mom can do with her, so Linda tries to model healthy habits whenever possible.
When Addison’s family moved and she had to change schools, Linda was a source of comfort and support. Addison had a hard time adjusting to a new school, a new teacher, and new classmates. She was also struggling in math. Linda started helping Addison with her homework and they play fun games to build her math skills.
Addison is always very excited about their next outing and Linda truly enjoys their time together. While it is early in the match to measure specific outcomes, they are obviously growing in mutual respect, trust, and care. Linda hopes that she can make a significant impact on her Little Sister’s life so one day Addison can continue passing it forward.