On Friday, August 5, 11 matches were treated to a special “Night of Surprises.” Hosted by Mainstreet’s Intern Team, this evening was a fun and unique way for Littles to get excited for a new school year. Each match was paired with their own Mainstreet Adventure Guide who greeted them upon arrival and made sure the entire night was an unforgettable experience.
First, Bigs and Littles enjoyed a pizza party before receiving a keynote speech from Milissa Turner, wife of Mainstreet CEO, Zeke Turner. Mrs. Turner reminded each and every Little how special they are and that each of them has their own unique talents.
Bigs then shared letters addressed for their Littles that they had written ahead of time. These letters included all of the things that make their Littles so amazing and special-their character, their kindness, their personality – just to name a few! Their Littles were so surprised and really enjoyed hearing heartfelt messages from their Bigs.
Once all of the letters had been read, the Mainstreet Interns announced the biggest surprise of the night and the grand finale of the evening — a back to school shopping spree at Wal-Mart! Bigs and the Mainstreet Adventure Guides helped Littles pick out everything they needed for a successful school year. Thanks to their generosity, Littles were able to pick out new shoes, new clothes, school supplies, school snacks, and even a toy or two.
“I can say from (my Little Sister) A’Nija’s point of view, the night was extraordinary,” Big Sister Gail said. “She was able to replace items she’s outgrown, get supplies for school, and be affirmed by people who’d only just met her. She’s also a girl who is very quiet, rarely revealing herself, preferring to stick to the facts. It was affirming to me to learn she thought I was supportive. While I try to be, I’m not sure I’d have ever heard that from her without the prompting!”
“Mainstreet is a very thoughtful partner of ours,” shared Stephanie Sachs, BBBSCI Manager of Program Events & Partnerships. “Not only do they take the time to support and create match activities, they also give a lot of thought to our mission and helping strengthen the relationship that our Bigs and Littles share.”
Thank you, Mainstreet, for creating a wonderful and unique event for our matches!
Enjoy some excerpts from letters our Bigs shared with their Littles:
“Being your Big Sister has been one of the greatest gifts in my life. I love sharing experiences with you. You are smart. I cherish every outing we are able to enjoy together and give back to our community, like volunteering at Pack Away Hunger on Valentine’s Day. You are thoughtful and caring. I am proud to be your Big Sister. I hope you will continue to learn good habits from me as you grow into a young lady. Thank you for being my Little Sister.” – Big Sister Lindsey to Little Sister Desiree
“I hope we have many more years growing our friendship and learning new things together. You always brighten my day and I can’t help to wonder how successful I know you will be in life. I’m so proud of your selflessness and your eagerness to learn anything new. I encourage you to keep that thirst to learn new things and being open to try new things. Thank you for being you and always bringing a smile to my face and reminding me how to look at things with fresh eyes.” – Big Brother Graham to Little Brother Joseph
“This last year has been the most special year of my life, and the only reason is you. You have given me so much joy. You are a smart, sassy, and a very beautiful girl. And, you are so, SO talented – a great artist and a soon-to-be great potter. You make me so proud! I’m so happy to see you doing so well at school and making the honor roll. I am sure that if you continue to keep reading and doing well at school, one day you are going to be very successful in whatever you choose to learn at college. No matter where I am, I promise that I will be there for your high school and college graduations. I love you!” – Big Sister Nimita to Little Sister BreAnna
“It has been a blast getting to know you over these last 8 months. I’m happy we were matched together through Big Brothers Big Sisters. Since I’ve met you, I’ve been amazed by how nice of a person you are, the way you treat and respect others, and how much you care for other people. I’m proud of your dedication to so many different activities and I loved going to your basketball games to watch you play. Definitely keep it up and keep trying new things….As you get older, I hope you continue to just be you. Because who you are is a really cool person. Keep being the positive person that you are and always keep trying new things. I’m happy to have you as my Little Brother.” – Big Brother Rafid to Little Brother Kalen