Nerium International has been a strong partner of Big Brothers Big Sisters since 2012. Each year, thousands of Nerium Brand Partners donate a portion of their monthly commissions, raise funds through Bowl for Kids’ Sake, and many have become Bigs.
Debbi-Jo (D.J.) is one of those Brand Partners who, after attending the Nerium Get Real Conference, decided to become a Big Sister. She was inspired by the Nerium Chief Leadership Officer Renee Olson, who spoke at the Conference about being a Big to her Little Sister, Ryan.
“I remember thinking, ‘If Renee Olson, whose life is even crazier than mine, can find the time, I have no excuse,’” D.J. says.
When D.J. got back to her home in Rhode Island, she simply asked the local affiliate, BBBS of the Ocean State, “What do I have to do?”
Not long after, she was matched with Little Sister Caira.
Caira was 16 at the time of their match. It’s around that age that many affiliates stop matching youth. She still had two years to be mentored before graduating high school, though, and D.J. felt strongly that she could make a difference for Caira.
The two years have been nothing short of amazing, D.J. says. They have enjoyed getting their nails done, gardening, making dream boards, and so much more.
“She is shy, but once she’s been around you, she just, like, comes out of herself,” D.J. says. “She really has blossomed.”
Now, Caira is preparing for college. She hopes to become a social worker and work with children with disabilities. Her “official” match through BBBS with D.J. may be ending, but she knows that she’ll always have her Big Sister in her corner if not by her side.
“We’ve already decided we are going to remain friends forever,” D.J. says.