Sometimes, volunteers tell us they spent a lot of time deliberating whether or not they should get involved with BBBSCI. These volunteers deliberate for a while, going back and forth on whether it’s the right move for them– and while they’re always glad they got involved, they admit it wasn’t necessarily the easiest of decisions. That is not the case for Big Brother Willie Little.
For Willie, the decision to get involved with BBBSCI was one that he knew would be the right fit for him. Willie has been matched with his Little Brother Nigel since February of 2015, after he realized he truly and actively wanted to make a difference in his own community.
“I became a Big Brother because of the shooting and violence in Ferguson, Missouri,” Willie said. “I was angry and frustrated and knew the only way I could make a difference was to do it in my own community.”
Since being matched, this match has explored countless activities the city has to offer. Willie and Nigel have gone bowling, painted canvases, visited different museums, and even participated in service projects like packaging food for the hungry. Additionally, they’ve also attended a lot of sports events – including track meets, Indiana Pacers games, Indianapolis Colts games, wrestling matches, and Indianapolis Indians games.
“By far my favorite memory is taking Nigel to the (Indianapolis) Pacers and (Cleveland) Cavaliers game in the spring,” Willie said. “It was his first time seeing LeBron (James of the Cleveland Cavaliers) play and he clung on to every second of the game.”
Willie and Nigel love not only watching sports – but playing them as well. This mutual love has fueled a friendly, competitive spirit between the two.
“We enjoy smack talk on and off the court,” Willie joked. “He thinks he’s undefeated in everything we compete in (sports, video games, thumb war, etc.) He’s a solid 0-67 in everything!”
In addition to spending time just the two of them, Willie and Nigel have also enjoyed hanging out with Willie’s family. Nigel loves getting to spend time with Willie’s children, and Willie is grateful for the relationship they have with his Little Brother.
“My 7 and 4-year-old get so much enjoyment when Nigel comes over to hang out,” Willie said. “They absolutely love Nigel.”
Overall, Willie is incredibly thankful for the chance to be a Big Brother to Nigel. His time as a mentor has not only been beneficial to Nigel but also to Willie himself.
“There is a generation of young people who won’t know that people actually care about their success,” Willie said. “I want to do my part. Mentoring and challenging someone to be great is rewarding. Littles need people in their lives that want to make a change for the better.”
To those contemplating getting involved as a Big, Willie encourages everyone to sign up.
“Just do it,” he said. “If you’re thinking about it you’re half way there. Nigel sat on the waiting list for five years. Not to any fault of his own, just not enough Future Bigs willing to take the chance.”
If you’re interested in becoming a Big Brother, Big Sister, Big Friend, or Big Couple, take the first steps today by signing up online. More information including eligibility requirements, timeline, and process can be found here.