Seeing how much light my little brother's Big Brother brought to his life growing up, I decided to become a volunteer Big Sister myself. I was matched with a seven year old girl in Surrey back in 2007; who I could definitely relate to (they make great matches).
Picking her up was the highlight of my week, she would be waiting by the door ready to go - quiet at first, then soon we would be chatting like old friends.
I got to do all the fun things us grown-ups are often too cool for, or missed out on, such as skating, swimming, rollerblading, crafts, crafts, crafts, bike rides, holiday events, did I mention crafts?
It was an opportunity for us both to live in the moment and have a friend for the day. We were matched until she was 15 (unfortunately rising housing costs ended our "official" match).
And so began my involvement in Big Sisters.
After I completed my Public Relations Diploma through @kwantlenu (the best real-life hands-on program available), I soon became a practicum student at Big Sisters of BCLM (surprise!) Then shortly after my dream was answered, and I was asked to interview to become (and hired as) their Marketing and Communications Manager, and later I moved into a contract position which allowed me to avoid the commute!
[f you have an hour or 4 to dedicate to a girl in your community you should most definitely look into becoming a Big Sister or study buddy mentor within your community. The greatest number of girls waiting for a Big Sister is consistently in Surrey with anywhere from 50-100 girls waiting for a friend at any time.]
Anywho, this is one of the fundraiser event invites I designed (logo for the soiree was provided by an amazing volunteer I was lucky to work with that).
The last photo is me and my "Little" (permission provided) enjoying local Halloween events (one of two selfies we took during our 8 years of outings together - too busy crafting, chatting, and living in the moment!)
This was the year the Luminary Award Soiree was first created, I absolutely love taking a new event from brand concept to completion! We ended up raising over $300,000. It was a lot of work as a marketing team of one, creating all of the branding, obtaining media sponsorship (then designing and remember sponsorship recognition in all ads for same), developing scripts, designing all of the marketing collateral (invites, envelopes, donation cards, power-points, sign-boards, photo backdrop, event program, getting it all mailed and printed, all of the social media, all of the e-mail marketing, creating night of slide-shows, photographers shot lists, organizing and liaising with speakers, singer/song concept, I also oversaw the production of two videos and obtained an award sponsor who committed to providing a beautiful crystal award (eclipse awards) every year - all while doing my full time job in that role - whewwwwwwwwwww, It was so worth it, and it felt so good to count up those donations at the end of the night in our bare feet!
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