It’s been a long process, but I finally have been matched with a “Little” with Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS)! You may have read about the beginning of this whole thing a couple of months ago. Yep, it took about 10 weeks, but it is totally worth it!
Getting to This Point
I filled out the first volunteer application in mid-July, sent in all of the requested paperwork, asked 5 of my friends/co-workers (blogging buddies) to fill out reference forms, and took a quick online class and quiz all within a few weeks. Next, I was interviewed by a match specialist and was officially approved. Then sat around waiting to be accepted and matched. That all took about 2 months.
Once they called me with a prospect about a month later, I accepted, his parents accepted, and then we met in person a couple of weeks later at the BBBS office for a few minutes. I had my first real outing with him last week and again yesterday. 🙂
My Match Experience So Far
So, I obviously can’t give out too many details so nobody’s privacy is messed with, but I can write about general stuff. I’ve been matched with a young man (about 4th grade) who is as quiet as I am loud. He’s also as dark-skinned as I am ghost white. So we make a fun pair, LOL. Oh, and he seems to like me. That’s important. 🙂
Our first outing was last week. I’m supposed to keep everything to as close to free as possible. So I used a gift card and a coupon to take him to Chili’s and then he picked our activity – disc golf! I mentioned it when we met as something my husband and I played before, and my Little thought it sounded fun. Yay! It was really wet and Chili’s took a while, so we only played about 5 holes on the disc golf course, but it was still a lot of fun and he would like to go back sometime. 😀
He didn’t say much during our actual time (he’s a major introvert and it will take time to open up), but his mom says that he bragged about me to everybody afterwards – so yay!!!
Yesterday, we went to an 8th grade football game that was close by. He loves football and the weather finally cooled down to a nice 70 around here. We had a lot of fun and even grabbed some snacks at the field. It was relaxing. He said he had a lot of fun. I did too. I think we’ll work out just fine.
Since I am out of town next week for The Financial Blogger Conference, we’ve already set up our next get together for the week after.
I think this program is like a ton of volunteer programs I’ve worked with before – needed since these kids really want someone to hang out with, overloaded since there are more Littles than Bigs, and everyone is doing the absolute best they can. I would totally suggest it for anybody who thinks that they’d enjoy working with a kid! I think my Little is going to help me just as much or more than I help him.
Are you looking into any volunteer positions lately? It makes the world feel a little better for me. 🙂
FYI: I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year. I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $80,000-$100,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home. If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!). I even have all of my favorite tools on a resource page - I hope they help you too. Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!