Over the past 15 years, BBBSCI is proud to have provided 9,609 mentoring relationships to girls and boys in our community! To celebrate our past and look ahead to the future, we’ve asked some of the many people who’ve been a part of BBBSCI to reflect on their journey. Throughout January and February, we’re publishing blog posts written by staff, Board members, donors, and long-time supporters as they share in their own words why they’re proud to be a part of BBBSCI’s history.
Guest blogger: Linda Perry, Youth Engagement Specialist
BBBSCI Staff Member since February 1, 1990
Over 27 years ago, I accepted a position at Big Brothers of Greater Indianapolis. They were looking for someone who was interested in staying long-term, so I guess I fulfilled their wishes. I have 3 sons, and it was fulfilling to know that I was going to play an important role in helping to positively impact the lives of hundreds of young men in our community and in the surrounding counties.
It’s interesting to think about how technology has changed over the years. I remember the process of making mailing labels on the “unique printer” we had back then. It was a major process, and I would “cross my fingers and hold my breath” (well, not really) as I awaited the perfect, finished product to appear from the back of the machine.
My favorite call I received while working at Big Brothers came from a young boy who said, “Can I have a Big Brother?” When I told him I would need to speak with his mom, he immediately shouted in the background, “Mom, Big Brothers is on the phone, and they want to talk to you.” He did not tell mom that he had placed the call.
Then, our agency merged with Big Sisters of Central Indiana. At that time, I had no young girls in my family, so I thought it would be fun to now get to talk with parents about their daughters as well as their sons. When we have special events, it’s great to see Big Brothers and Big Sisters interacting with their Littles. My favorite call since the merger was when a little girl called and asked, “Will you be my Big Sister?” I proceeded to tell her that I would need to talk with her mom so we could get her enrolled in our program, and then I would do my best to help get a Big Sister for her. In the background, I heard her say, “Mommy, the Big Sister lady is on the phone.” Calls like that just warm my heart.
The biggest highlight of my “career” at BBBSCI was the amazing, surprise celebration the staff gave me on my 25th year anniversary. I was presented with a quilt that was made by Lauren Edsall (BBBSCI Executive Coordinator) and her mom that was pieced together with old t-shirts from past agency events over the years. Former employees were contacted and donated their “souvenir” shirts to create this masterpiece. Seeing those pictures brought back lots of memories of activities I had participated in long ago. Many former co-workers as well as all of my family attended my celebration which added to the fun and excitement of the occasion.
Over the years, I have worked with so many amazing people, many of whom became good friends and even some who are now life-long friends. I am grateful to be part of an agency that does such great work and impacts our community in a mighty way. I know BBBSCI will continue touching the lives of families for many years to come.