- On May 10, 2016
- In Education
Big Brothers Big Sisters: A Family Partnership
Paul and Junior López are 9-year-old twin brothers. They both love to play basketball, explore new places, spend their free time doing a variety of activities, and as their mom, Merian López, says, “they like to talk very much.” They learn from their surroundings with the typical ease of children that age. Merian is a hard working mother who dedicates her life to provide for her boys. Her job leaves her with less time than she’d like to spend on their education and development after school, or even during weekends. “Saturdays are for them,” Merian explains. “Sundays are for church, Monday through Friday I work full time and then I must take care of all the household chores.” Finding herself in this predicament, she began her search for a compelling alternative. Thanks to IBA’s recent partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay (BBBSMB), a program that focuses on providing kids with a “Big Brother” or “Big Sister” to spend time with and set a positive example, Merian found the perfect solution. The López family has been a part of the program for over six months. Junior and Paul see their “Big Brothers” twice a month. During this time the twins have gone to play basketball, visited the aquarium, the museum of art, and even the circus. “BBBSMB is very helpful. It is something different. They leave the house happy as can be, and as soon as they get home they start asking me when they’ll see their Big Brothers again,” Merian said. “They ask me if they can go swimming with their Big Brothers. There are times they don’t want to go with me because all I do is sit in a chair and watch them. With their Big Brother they have a relationship based on friendship.” [caption id="attachment_5895" align="alignleft" width="286"] Paul Lopez and his "Big Brother" making silly faces[/caption] For these two brothers, BBBSMB has become something truly special. During the introduction party, the moment Paul and Junior met their respective Big Brothers, they were beyond excited. “They received t-shirts as a gift with the Big Brothers Big Sisters name on them. They left with their t-shirts, that fit them down to their knees, and for three days they didn’t take them off,” Merian chuckled. But, for mothers like Merian, one of the most important aspects of this initiative, besides the distraction it provides for her children, is the degree of safety she feels. “They are dedicated to researching who this person is. I was given much information regarding their families, hobbies and interests, their job, where they went to school,” said Merian. “We get phone calls twice a week to see when was the last time the child went out with his Big Brother. They also interview the child.” [caption id="attachment_5896" align="alignright" width="286"] Junior Lopez and his "Big Brother" making silly faces for the camera.[/caption] Her experience with BBBSMB has been so positive that Merian has become an advocate, recruiting more than 10 children who have benefitted from the program, just like her sons. According to this mom, Big Brothers Big Sisters is a family organization, where they are always treated warmly and her little ones are creating important positive ties and experiencing true friendship. Thanks to your contributions initiatives like BBBSMB are possible in Villa Victoria. Help us impact the lives of more children like Junior and Paul, no amount is too small. Donate here....