Monthly Archives: December 2009

Giving thanks for the “Little” moments-by guest blogger Big Sister Jen Maitland

Big Sister Jen Maitland is 26 and lives in Brighton. She has been matched with her Little Sister, Shelkilya, age 11, since July 2007.

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same.”

At the start of the holiday season everyone always asks what people are thankful for; this holiday season I wanted to share with you what I am the most thankful for. Two and a half years ago I had an interview with one of the social workers at Big Sister, I filled out some forms about what my interests are, things I like and don’t like. A couple weeks later I was meeting my Little Sister for the first time. During our first match meeting I had no idea about the journey I was about to embark on and how life-changing it would be.

Over the past two and a half years, my Little Sister and I have grown to be what I deem a great Big Sister/Little Sister combo. When I first signed up to be a Big Sister I was doing it to volunteer and help out a young girl in need. What I have gained from it is far beyond what I could have imagined. I have learned more about life from an 11 year old girl than I did in my entire college career. While I have no idea the impact I am having on her and probably never will, I know it is there. Obviously she never comes out and directly says “Jen, thanks for being an important and stable part of my life,” as many 11 year olds and even full grown adults don’t have the ability to say that. However, it’s the little things she does that make me realize the impact I am having. The over the shoulder bag that I gave her last year that she uses every day despite the fact it is completely falling apart, the fact that she always grabs my extra sunglasses when we are in my car and I have mine on, the friendship necklace I made for her that she didn’t take off for months, and the fact that when we go to Friendly’s we both always get the peanut butter cup Friends made with chocolate ice cream.

It’s these things that make each and every time we go out so special and meaningful to me. My Little Sister will probably never realize how important she is to me and how much I appreciate the time we have spent together, just as I will never know what I mean to her. But it’s for these moments that this holiday season the thing I am the most grateful for is my Little Sister and the Big Sister Association.