Cumberland Match Together for Ten Years
Ten years ago, Big Sister Christa decided to volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Alleghenies. She got involved with a local Lunch Buddies program, which is where she met then-7-year-old Alivia. Her future Little Sister was very reserved. During a thoughtful pre-match process led by the professional staff members working with Christa, Alivia, and her family, the two discovered they both loved to read. This shared passion for reading served as a spark that has helped their professionally-supported one-to-one mentoring relationship thrive for the last ten years.
With the help and guidance of the team at Big Brothers Big Sisters, Christa and Alivia have managed to navigate through many significant life events together. “We’ve been through breakups, homework meltdowns, and the fact that she got her driver’s license,” said Christa.
Now, Alivia is a confident 17-year-old with a lot on her plate. The recent high school graduate is working full time, helping out with the color guard at her high school, and preparing to head off to college in the fall. “Christa really helped Alivia build her self-esteem,” said Alivia’s mother. “She taught her a lot about life and school – things that kids won’t always listen to their parents about. But they’ll listen to someone else.”
Alivia is able to manage her responsibilities thanks to her Big Sister, who has taught her a great deal about life. “She always knew what to say,” said Little Sister Alivia. “She knows me pretty well. She taught me how to help people, how not to hold grudges, to let things go. I thought of her as family.”
“Alivia and her Big Sister Christa really represent the best that can come from this program,” said Kimi-Scott McGreevy, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Alleghenies. The agency is currently hard are work to match the 50 children that are looking to be matched with caring adult mentors. “That is one of the biggest challenges throughout the United States is getting those mentors in the door,” said Kimi.
If you would like to get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters, there are many ways to do so. Volunteer to be a Big Brother or Big Sister, donate to support the dedicated work of match support specialists, or find the method of involvement that is right for you. There is no action too little to have a big impact on the life of a child.