The Big Brothers Big Sisters meet Hometown Heroes, The Whitecaps
BY :: MARIA FELICE
PHOTOGRAPHY :: TIM MOTLEY
Popcorn, peanuts, cracker jacks! Without hearing these words it’s as if summer didn’t even begin. The food, the cheering, the game, something about the sport captures the imagination of children. For many, the love of the game begins with a pickup game of catch with a big brother or big sister.
Whether biological or not, playing catch with your older “sibling” can be the best experience for a child. The Big Brothers Big Sisters program of D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s recognizes that even the simplest interaction between a positive adult role model can profoundly impact the life of a child.
On August 12th over 150 “Bigs” and “Littles” flooded Fifth Third Ballpark. Before the game, the Bigs and Littles participated in the tried and true game of catch. They ran out onto the field, grabbed their mits, and experienced what it would be like to play ball on such a grand stage. More than that, the children got to spend time with their Bigs.
Through the generous support of community backers, this year the North Kiwanis Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters of D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s sends their matches to a day at the ballpark. This year, the children got to enjoy a complimentary hot dog and soda, because after all, what would a day at the ballpark be without a hot dog?
More than anything, the Littles were surrounded by their Bigs, and a community that supports them. The majority of children that Big Brothers Big Sisters serve come from single parent homes. Sometimes, the Littles’ struggles are severe; sometimes they just need encouragement and one-on-one time with an adult friend. Whatever the situation may be, through the relationships Bigs and Littles form, hundreds of children’s lives in Greater Grand Rapids are changed.
In as little as an hour the life of a child can be influenced. Even the smallest interaction, like a simple game of catch, can change a life. To learn more about how to become a positive role model to a child call 616 361-5227.
To learn more about D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s: http://www.dablodgettstjohns.org/
Big Brothers Big Sisters is a program of D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s, a 125 year-old accredited agency dedicated to protecting children from abuse and neglect. Big Brothers Big Sisters is a nationally recognized mentoring program that matches kids age 5-17 with an adult mentor. These kids are typically from single-parent homes and may be experiencing some difficulty with school, social skills, and developing interests in life.