‘Being a Big grows your heart’

Mentors age 50+ share their motivations for volunteering

Big Sister Sandy Conroy
Matched with Hailey since November 2009

Why did you become a Big? In my mid-40s, I was an empty nester and a bit bored. I like young people, so decided to volunteer with BBBS thinking it would be as enriching for me as it could be for a Little, with a little bit of challenge to it.

Favorite part of being a Big: Seeing my Little have fun and experience some different things. I also enjoy seeing her grow and grasp the importance of doing well in school, and thinking about what her future could bring with good grades.

Is there something different that you think someone your age gets out of being a Big? I look at it as helping to keep me young and in tune with the latest crazy stuff kids do. Being a Big grows your heart and you gain a friend for life if you make a good connection.

Would you encourage others who are age 50 and older to become Bigs? I would encourage anyone at any age to get involved. It’s the quality of the time that matters and the relationship you can build that will make the difference in a child’s life.

Big Brother Dan Duncan
Matched with Liam since February 2016

Why did you become a Big? I retired at age 58 and was too young to be fully retired. I wanted to be of use and make a difference.

Favorite part of being a Big: The one-to-one relationship I’ve built with Liam.

Is there something different that you think someone your age gets out of being a Big? I think at my age you have a desire to pass along your hard-earned wisdom and experience. It’s gratifying to share my experience at this stage of my life.

Would you encourage others age 50 and older to become Bigs? Yes. Today, older people are more active. I take Liam skiing which is a bonus for me and he might not get to do that otherwise.

Lori Stonerock
Matched with La’Nay since June 2009

What prompted you to become a Big? My daughter was a Big and encouraged me to become a Big Sister, too.

What is your favorite part of being a Big? We’ve developed a relationship where we enjoy each other’s company. Also, it filled the “empty nest void” after my kids left home.

Is there something different that you think someone your age gets out of being a Big? We have more time to invest and we can pass along our knowledge and expertise. Being a Big gives you someone to spend time with and do things with that they might not get to do at home.

Would you encourage others 50 and older to become Bigs? Yes! I already do. I tell them how it’s fantastic to spend time my Little.

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