Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Big Brothers Big Sister 25 x 25 Campaign

Most of you know that I am a volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region. I became a Big just about a year ago, following an incredibly difficult breakup. I was trying to move past the depression and the anxiety, and thought volunteering would be a great distraction. I asked a trusted friend where she thought I could focus my volunteering energy. She immediately responded that I would make a great mentor. "Well, maybe not right now," she laughed. "But get the process started."

So I did. I went into BBBS thinking I would distract myself, and possibly help a kid. I never imagined
all of the other benefits I would personally reap.

As a mentor, I have to be strong and lead, and put someone else's needs ahead of my own. This has made me more confident and out-going. Being a mentor puts my good fortune in a much clearer perspective, offers me opportunities I did not have before, and has helped me make more friends I may not have met otherwise. This has made me more grateful for all that I have. Most of all, mentoring helps me see myself though the eyes of a young girl, and it makes me want to be a woman worthy of her admiration and respect.

So when Big Brothers Big Sisters asked me to participate in its 25 x 25 Campaign, I was excited to say yes. The 25 is an "elite group of 25 current and alumni Bigs (and one alumni, adult Little) who are going above and beyond.' We've been challenged with raising $625 by asking at least 25 people to donate at least $25 each, between now and September 18.

If all 25 of us achieve that $625 goal, we will raise $15,000 - enough to put 15 more kids on the path to success.

I'm not sure why I was asked. Perhaps BBBS feels I have a large, untapped network. Or perhaps they have seen how determined I can be when it comes to fundraising. No matter the reason, I'm honored to participate, and determined to not let them down.

I am not going to jump out of a plane, or repel down a building. I will not be running a marathon, or a 5K. (Let's be real - I won't even be running to the end of my driveway). I am not biking, swimming, walking, bowling, collecting, baking, or doing anything else for you to "sponsor."

I'm simply asking you - my friends, family, and colleagues - to donate to a worthy cause. The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters is "to provide children facing adversity with strong, enduring, professionally supported 1-to-1 relationships that change their lives for the better, forever."

I have personally heard stories from adult Littles, who say their Bigs helped reshape their lives in a truly positive way. Some go to college, others find a trade, but all find opportunities they would not have had otherwise.

These kids are future leaders, decision-makers, parents, teachers, and mentors. I am asking you, as a personal favor to me, to help support this worthwhile organization and its vision to help all children achieve success.

To donate, please visit my campaign page.

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