Company Culture A Big Deal – Big Brothers Big Sisters

January 24, 2024

 

Time. There never seems to be enough of it and it goes by way too fast.

Last year, two women from Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters came to our real estate office to teach us a little more about their mission. They graciously explained the process of becoming a Big, what it means, and how it changes lives.

While intently listening to their informative encouragement, I thought “Do I have the time to spare? Will I be able to follow through if I commit to this program? Do I understand what I am signing up to do?” The one thing that never wavered while considering to become a Big was how it could impact a young life. Little did I know how it would impact mine.

After some discussion with my husband and some serious thought, I decided that dedicating a minimum of 45 minutes a week to a child expressing a need for a little extra support in their world was such a small commitment, how could I NOT volunteer? It didn’t seem to be a big deal. The thought that a young person could benefit from such little time together was truly the inspiration to apply as a Big. There was no doubt in my mind that I could positively influence a young person by sharing encouragement, understanding, and a listening ear. I knew they would discover a trust in me and feel how I care with authenticity.

Once I made the decision, I could not apply fast enough. We completed forms, references, and background checks, submitted information on my spouse and me, and finally received the delightful news. We got approved and matched with my Little.

As I was given some information regarding my potential match and realized similarities throughout our lives, I struggled to contain all the collective emotions with the anticipation of meeting her for the first time. I could not fight to hold back the tears of joy that streaked down my cheeks. Soon, there would be a connection that I had already determined would become a forever friendship. It was a delight and overwhelming at the same time. This was actually a very big deal.

 

 

So, the big day eventually rolls around- the first encounter as a Big with my Little. My Little was this beautiful 5-year-old kindergarten girl who had my heart before the first hug. The first meeting was a joint introduction with the school counselor and our match specialist from Big Brothers Big Sisters. The time went by way too fast at that first contact and left me with so many questions I wanted to ask her on our next visit. The desire to know everything about her like the games she likes, who her best friends are, what foods she likes, doesn’t like, and anything else she wanted to talk about that was important to her. This little girl was sweet and energetic with a big future waiting for her. I felt driven to become a part of her story by understanding what made her tick.

With our following visits, classmates would often enquire if I was her mom and ask “Who are you?”

My Little would simply and quickly respond that I was her “sissy” or her “big sis”. It’s funny how a seemingly little thing in life can make all the difference in the world and put a big smile on your face. Each time the she answered that question, a warmth entered my heart and a smile would last for days.

 

 

There was a value in that title coming from my Little. With full disclosure, I have been a big sister to my biological brother for many years. I won’t go into just how many years but I will say it’s been a minute. As much as it meant to me- aside from how much I adore my little brother, growing up together can be taken for granted until we grow to understand the depth of friendship it develops. This easily translated to being a Big volunteer.  I thought I was going to help this kid, but she ended up helping me. Being her Big really is A BIG DEAL.

“People often overthink what it means to be a Big. It simply means providing a little bit of your time on your schedule to give a youth that one-on-one time and attention they crave and deserve. No special skills are required. If you’re curious, we always encourage people to learn more in a brief and no-obligation info session. You will likely find it’s easier than you thought to just be a friend. Because of our “best-fit match”, we always have the need for new volunteers. There are currently 200+ youth on our waiting list and in reality, there are hundreds more just waiting to be added to that list for a mentor.” – Tammy Bouchér, Development Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters

To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters and become a Big, read more here. 

 

 

Headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, Lange Real Estate is an integrated real estate company specializing in the sale, leasing, management and development of residential and commercial real estate in Wichita and South Central Kansas. 

We are committed to giving back to the Wichita community, as well as providing opportunities for our employees to give back. With that goal, we have long supported initiatives of the Lange Community Foundation, a Lange family non-profit organization dedicated to driving change and creating solutions for mental health in the Wichita community. The current initiative is creating a safe environment for individuals to receive the comprehensive care they need by bringing multiple resources together to form a 70-acre behavioral health campus called OneRise.

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