Sara's unique story as a Big began in 2005 when she was matched with her Little Sister Shay. A lively and energetic seven-year-old, Shay had limited direction. Over the next three years, Sara and Shay spent time together sharing family-style dinners and enjoying activities in Sara's backyard. Then, Sara received a call that changed her life forever.
The Department of Human Services contacted Sara with serious news; Shay was being removed from her birth mother's home. Sara and her husband, Randy, felt fortunate to have the opportunity to welcome Shay into a home where she already felt safe and loved. They did not hesitate for a moment – Shay was adopted on Dec. 17, 2008.
But Sara's journey as a Big Sister wasn't over quite yet. In 2009, she signed up once again to volunteer at Big Brothers Big Sisters. Soon after, Sara was matched with Audri, a shy eight-year-old at the time of their meeting. Audri struggled with school and was diagnosed with ADHD, which deeply affected her self-esteem. Over time, Audri and Sara formed a strong bond where Audri felt comfortable sharing her struggles with school and friends. Together, they enjoy riding bikes, baking cookies, shopping and visiting the library. Audri is grateful for the impact her Big Sister has had on her life. “Before BBBS, I felt like nobody wanted to hang out with me,” said Audri. “Once Sara came into my life, everything turned around. She made it fun for me because when we met, everything in the past is gone.”
Just by having fun with Sara, Audri was able to transform her old insecurities into a renewed confidence. Audri soon became an excellent listener and communicator, which improved her performance in school. Audri felt encouraged by Sara's strength and independence, enabling her to grow into the social butterfly everybody knew she could be. "When we met Sara, she seemed strong, independent, and level headed just like Audri needed,” said Audri’s mother. “Sara was able to see how to help Audri break out of her shell. She acts as her confidante when we, as parents, aren't able to."
Sara's story, exceptional and unique, is a testament to the difference being a Big can make in a Little's life. Just as Sara said, “There is joy in the little things in life and having a friend to share all of live with is a special blessing. I am forever changed. And it all started by just ‘having fun!’” Sometimes, simply having fun can create lifelong bonds that will change the life of a child in need for the better, forever.
Make your Big Impact by signing up to volunteer today.