Think back to your childhood. Did you have someone who cared about your well-being and progress? Whether a parent, friend of the family, or teacher, you likely had someone in your corner who had a vested interest in your success. What if you hadn’t had that person?

You can be that person for a kid in our community, and it’s fun! We are writing with a challenge: Make 2019 the year you pay it forward. There are 300 kids on the waiting list in Allen County alone who dream of the day when they are matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister.

The need is great but so is their potential. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana recently launched a new brand built on the belief that children—our future—are capable of greatness. Like a seed, they need nourishment to grow and flourish. That might take the form of extra guidance or encouragement. Hence, we are “Defending Potential.” Igniting Potential. Empowering Potential. Right here where we live.

Our purpose is powerful and intentional. Clearing the path to a child’s biggest possible future is powerful. We aren’t heroes, saviors or martyrs, nor do we wear rose-colored glasses. We are simply showing up for kid—and you can support our unified cause.

But how? It’s not an overstatement to say you can change the world, beginning in your own backyard. The beauty of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana is that we welcome all levels of involvement and commitment.

It’s less about the time invested and more about the impact—on both the volunteer and the child. It’s not an exaggeration to say that being a Big Brother or Big Sister is one of the most enjoyable things you’ll ever do. Not to mention, one of the most fulfilling. (We know this firsthand). You have the opportunity to help shape a child’s future for the better by empowering them to achieve. How truly great can our community be if every child reaches their full potential?

In life, often the little things shape up to be the big things. The same holds true in a Big-Little match. You and your Little can share the kinds of activities you already like to do. Play sports together. Go on a hike. Read books. Eat a pizza with extra anchovies. Or just give some advice and inspiration. Whatever it is you enjoy, odds are you’ll enjoy them even more with your Little—and you’ll be making a life-changing impact.

We offer a variety of ways to engage for all life stages, time commitments, financial restraints. Everyone can find purpose here. Maybe you can even help us connect with your business or employer to schedule a presentation to spread the word! For more information, visit www.bbbsnei.org/get-involved/volunteer. You may also call the agency at (260) 456-1600.

Submitted by Joci Plank and Lauren Caggiano; Co-chairs, Allen County Ambassador Committee Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana

The Waynedale News Staff
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Joci Plank & Lauren Caggiano

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