“It’s like the best kept secret, but I don’t want to keep it a secret!” - Iola, Mother of Little Sister Cache
A few years after Big Sister Melissa moved to Philadelphia, she began her search for an organization she could dedicate time to. She landed on Big Brothers Big Sisters. “I knew it was a reputable organization and they did great things, so I started doing research on my own. I saw some of the match stories and I got excited about it!” said Melissa. At the same time, Little Sister Cache’s mom, Iola, was searching for something, too. “I wanted her to get a Big for a few reasons. She didn’t have any siblings, and she was kind of in search for something else. I felt like I wasn’t able to meet all of her needs." Iola is grateful that Melissa helps bridge the communication gap between her and Cache.
Melissa and Cache have been matched since June 2015, and have since formed a strong relationship. “In the beginning, Cache was a little more reserved, but now that we’re comfortable with each other, we just don’t stop talking the entire time we’re together,” said Melissa. She describes a back-to-school celebratory dinner the two had together as a special memory because it was the first time they didn’t have a specific activity planned, but it didn’t matter because they had so much to talk about.
For Iola, this experience has been more than she ever hoped for. “This service is something that I think a lot of people are missing out on it. It’s like the best kept secret, but I don’t want to keep it a secret! There’s nothing like your child coming home from an outing with their Big and sharing a good story with you. It gives you and your child a time to talk, and it gives them an event to share with you.”
Melissa added that she’s extremely grateful to Iola for letting her play such an active role in Cache’s life. “Iola has involved me in a way that makes me feel important in Cache’s life. She sent out pictures to all of her family members of Cache’s first day of school, and included me in the group text and I was so excited about that. She keeps me involved and makes me an active participant even when I’m not there.”
In looking to the future, Melissa hopes she can continue to be a resource for Cache as she looks to high school, and eventually, to college. “I just hope that our relationship continues in a way that will let me be a part of her future in any small way.”