Kala matched the pair because they had a lot in common, including sports. “I will have to teach Blake tennis, that’s one game he doesn’t know how to play,” Steven said.
More than 25 mentors and littles attended the event where they were able to bowl, eat pizza and build their friendship for a couple of hours.
Jesse Pierce, new to Big Brothers Big Sisters also attended. “I love events,” he said as he cheered on the group.
Kala is not only a case manager, she also is a mentor. Her little sister Maddie attended the event. While Maddie enjoys the events she said, “Kala makes the best cookies. That’s my favorite activity.”
When the mentors were asked how they manage their busy lives and mentor, all of them said “you have to make the time.”
“It’s that important” Blake said. “You can do it if you really want to.”
Jaclyn Marganski, a mentor who also attended the event with her little sister Jade echoed that sentiment. “You have to quit saying ‘You can’t’ and say, ‘You can,’” she said.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Vermilion County was established in 1971 by concerned Vermilion County residents. Those residents saw a gap in services for children from single parent homes that needed one-to-one support and encouragement. They contacted Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and started an affiliation. The agency now serves children from all walks of life whether there are two parents in the home or not. One-to-one mentoring is the focus in the community, school-based and new site-based freshman mentoring programs. After-school leadership programs are available through Young Women Aware, an outreach program supported by Big Brothers Big Sisters, Presence United Samaritans Medical Foundation and Danville District 118.
Jane McFadden, board president said, “Everyone can remember that person in their life who took an interest in them and gave them the encouragement and support they needed to make it over some hurdles. That’s what our mentors do for children all over Vermilion County.”