Friday, October 21, 2011

A New Friend

I've been looking for a volunteer opportunity for 2 years now.  I wanted something that fit my schedule, fit my personality and fit my purpose in life.

So, when I found a kijiji ad in June advertising for the Big Brothers Big Sisters In School Mentoring program I felt like I finally found what I was looking for.

The more I spent time learning about the program and learning how to be an in school mentor, the more excited about this program I got!

Granted, I didn't think one hour per week was all that big of a deal.  How much of an influence can you be in that small amount of time.

I was assured by the coordinators and by a friend of mine that one hour a week makes a huge difference in the life of a child who may not get any one on one time with a caring adult.  I guess I'd have to take their word for it.

It was all I could do not to go crazy waiting for 'the call'.  You know the one, where you are told who your match is and what school you'll be in and all the deets on the fabulous little person you'll be sharing one on one time with for the year (and maybe years). 

The feeling is not unlike waiting for a child to be born.  Will it be a girl or a boy?  The anticipation feels fun and even adventurous somehow.

I have been excited since day one of this experience, so this past Monday when I finally got to meet my match I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to make an impact in this child's life.

Would she like me?  Would she think my hair (or lack thereof) was strange?  Would she trade me in for a different mentor?   ACK!!!!

The good news.  I think she's gonna keep me!  We had a great first day, we colored pictures for eachother, I gave her a rock in the shape of a heart that I found on the beach during a trip to Erieau that she can keep in her pocket for 'good luck', we played 'TROUBLE' at which I totally sucked, even when she tried to fumble the game so I could win at least once, I still lost AND she loved that!  And I loved that too.  To see her smile and reassure me that I'll get better the more I play.

The truth?  She mentored me that morning.  She took me under her wing and befriended me.  And I left feeling elated, like I had gained a valuable new friend.

I can hardly wait until next week to do it all again. 

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