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Today's Family Magazine

Big Brothers Big Sisters inspires and encourages children

Jun 27, 2017 01:15PM ● By Today's Family
By Laura Lytle

Big Brothers Big Sisters Northeast Ohio has been creating new opportunities and strengthening confidence in children since 1974.  Through its various programs, BBBSNEO serves nearly 400 children annually in Lake, Geauga and Ashtabula counties.

While many families associate BBBS with its community-based mentorship program that connects a “Big” (adult) and “Little” (child) together, it also offers after-school programs, the E CITY program that encourages entrepreneurship, and Coul Club for Littles on the program waiting list.

BBBS makes the greatest difference in children’s lives, one at a time in its mentorship program for children between the ages of 6 and 15.  Each child and adult volunteer builds a rewarding relationship and creates valuable memories.

Kaydee and Meredith have one of these special relationships through BBBS.  Having moved back to Ohio from Chicago, Meredith was seeking a job in the nonprofit field and felt becoming a volunteer would be a good start. 

“I was seeking stability and possibly to provide that to someone else too.  I couldn’t have imagined a greater person to meet than Kaydee.  I have never left a visit with her that hasn’t brightened my day, despite how good or bad it may have been,” said Meredith.

And while they only visit once per week, Kaydee also looks forward to their time together which she says helps her to be in a good mood.  She really enjoys going to the library and movies together and has so much fun when she visits Meredith at home or with her family.
Kaydee feels, that Meredith as a big sister has changed her by opening up her feelings and her heart.

Meredith has seen many positive changes in Kaydee too, from coming out of her shell around her and her family, to not being afraid to talk with new people or give her opinion.

“I really enjoy being there for Kaydee to open up to and talk with about anything.  We are encouraged to integrate into each other’s lives and she has been lovingly adopted by my whole family.  She has helped me open up to how other people live and that not everyone has the same opportunities in life.  Being a Big has changed the way I look at other people; taking a closer look at them, what they may need or how I can help,” added Meredith.

For more information on being a Big or Little, visit Big Brothers Big Sisters at or call 440-352-2526 or 1-800-222-2440.

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