For Big Sister Melissa, volunteering has always been a part of life. When she started working full-time after college and researched different options and opportunities, she found that becoming a Big Sister worked best with her schedule and was the type of volunteer experience she was looking for. “I wanted to be able to interact with and help a young person, one-on-one, and this allowed me to do that,” Melissa explained.
In August 2008, she was introduced to her Little Sister, Amber, who was only nine-years-old at the time. Amber came from a large family and so having individual attention was something that was very exciting. Over the years, Melissa and Amber have done lots of fun activities together, including agency favorites like the Annual Picnics, holiday parties and ice skating. Their favorite activities involve making something, like pizza or cookies. “It’s great to see her take the lead on those projects and take ownership of things,” Melissa told us. “As she is getting older, we are also discovering new things to do together as her interests change.”
According to her Big Sister, Amber is now more active at school and at home, and the biggest change is in her maturity. “She’s gone from a kid to a teen. She understands and appreciates people more than before. Her personality has developed over the years and I’ve noticed she’s more self-aware and has better relationships with her sisters.”
Melissa has benefitted from being involved as well. “I enjoy having a friend who is younger than me and from a different walk of life… she brings out the fun-loving and silly sides of me. We love to laugh and have fun.” The Big Sister would recommend the program to anyone considering it. “It’s definitely a commitment and something to take seriously, but it’s also one of the most rewarding things I could have done as a young adult.