Each year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Louisiana honors the most valuable component of our program – our volunteers. They recognize individuals, groups and businesses that have gone above and beyond the call of helping our children. They have donated their skills, their resources, and most important of all their time.
When Debbie Cascio first applied to become a Big Sister, she never dreamed she’d have the opportunity to influence four littles. She has gone above and beyond to help her littles, receiving an award for her volunteer efforts in 2013. Big Sister Debbie has been matched with her current Little Brother since 2011. “Debbie is nice, cares about me and teaches me right from wrong,” says her Little. In addition to her influence during weekly visits, she has been his guide on school projects and help and encouragement with fundraisers.
From a mom hesitant to participate, to being looked at as a miracle, Big Brother Kelvin Dean is making a difference. Kelvin was recognized for his volunteer efforts in 2013. Big Brother Kelvin has been matched with his Little Brother since 2012. Kelvin’s Little Brother says that Kelvin is cool, nice and awesome. Initially hesitant for her son to participate in the program, the Little’s mom now states that even she has made improvements because of the match with Kelvin. She calls her son one of her life’s miracles and now says she considers Kelvin to be the other.
Consistency and dependability are key when becoming a Big. Big Sister MyEsha Davis knows the importance of this . . . and it shows. MyEsha was recognized for her volunteer efforts in 2013. MyEsha’s Little Sister’s mother says that her grades and behavior have improved significantly since MyEsha became her Big Sister in 2009. And her Little says MyEsha is pretty, happy and fun.
Part of being a Big means you don’t quit when faced with challenges. Big Brother Doug Harvey and his Little Brother have been matched since 2010. Doug was recognized for his volunteer efforts in 2013 and has been a consistent positive presence in his Little’s life, even though the Little has attended three different schools since being matched. Doug has faced several challenges during the match, but he has never quit being a Big.
Being the “best in the world” at something is an almost unachievable goal. But in the eyes of her Little Sister, Lurl Calloway is just that. Lurl was recognized for her volunteer efforts in 2013. Big Sister Lurl has been matched since 2012, enjoying being a Big Sister so much that she volunteered to mentor two Little Sisters the next school year. Both of Lurl’s Little Sisters love her and have shown improvement in academics and social skills. Lurl visits one of her Little Sisters twice per week, once to work on academics and once to play games that build confidence and social skills. Her Little Sister says “she does exactly what she says she’s going to do and is the best Big Sister in the world.”