In the spring of 2014, BBBS of the Flint Hills Director Andrea Landgren reached out to the Downing Foundation for support of a Summer Activities Program for unmatched children in their program. The hopes of this program was to engage these children in the BBBSFH program, provide fun and interactive activities and allow staff to build relationships when these children so when the agency begins volunteer recruitment in the fall they will be able to match the children with volunteers based on personality types and personal preferences of the kid and volunteers and have a good understanding of each child’s specific needs.
The BBBSFH kids thoroughly enjoyed the activities and built relationships with agency staff and with other kids, especially 10 year old Madison. Madison joined the BBBSFH program in June, her parents noticed her withdrawing for things she enjoyed, claiming to not have friends and feeling as though she didn’t fit in at school. Madison started attending our summer activities, within weeks we noticed her interaction with other kids her age improved, she constantly had a smile on her face and her parents were calling the office with complete compliments and remarks of gratitude. On the last day of the summer program, 11 year old Ermelinda was asking who would be in attendance, when Madison’s name was mentioned, Ermelinda got really excited and stated, “Good, she’s my new best friend!” The girls had a great time playing putt-putt and eating lunch. Madison was just matched with a Big Sister and office staff is really excited to see the continued growth and improvements to her self-esteem and relationships.
BBBSFH staff is grateful for this funding and being able to have an opportunity to see firsthand what an impression is being made on youth in our community. What a fun summer it was for BBBSFH!
-Contributed by Andrea D. Landgreen, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Flnt Hills
“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” ~John Wooden, They Call Me Coach