Big Sister Deb became a Big for several reasons. The main reason was that it was an inherent dream to somehow affect this world we live in for the better, even if it was to make one person’s life, one animal’s life, or one family’s life a little better, a little easier. She always felt an obligation to give back to her community, as it was instilled in her by her dad to always give what and when you can. When Deb met her Little Sister, Jenny, she had just experienced a transition from living with her birth parents to staying with a foster family, then moving in her aunt in a span of one year. “I was emotional, confused and unquestionably difficult,” Little Sister Jenny stated.
Big Sister Deb took on her new Little Sister with excitement and was determined to make an impact on Jenny. When they first met, Little Sister Jenny was shy and quiet. Big Sister Deb encouraged her Little Sister to come out of her shell by teaching her to look people in the eye when people were speaking with her, to use manners, to hold her head up high and to say what she needed to say clearly. Deb’s open and honest personality would soon spill over to Jenny by making her aware that she is loved and valued by those around her.
In their eight years together, they have shared many adventures including baseball games, Blue Man Group concert, duck boat tours, visits to the aquarium and many delicious meals. Above all the adventures they have experienced, Little Sister Jenny understands that it’s more than the fun times they spend together, “it’s all the little lessons she has given me to store in my pocket and carry with me for the rest of my life.” Their long car drives are amongst their favorite time together, as that’s where they talk and laugh the most. Through this foundation of trust, Big Sister Deb has been there when her Little Sister has needed her.
The pressures of being a teenager are sometimes difficult for Little Sister Jenny to handle, but thanks to her Big Sister, she is able to look past this pressure. “I really don’t know what I’d do without her,” said Jenny. She now believes that she can lean on Deb through the best and worst of times. The feeling is mutual for her Big Sister. Deb describes her Little Sister as “my sunshine on a cloudy day.” Everyone around them knows that Wednesday is their day to spend time together. “I went into the program believing that I would be the one doing all the giving – not knowing how much I would receive in return. I know in my heart that Jenny and I will always be friends and she knows without a doubt that I will always be here. We don’t always see eye-to-eye, but we always see heart-to-heart.”