NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Rosa Reed’s life changed forever when she connected with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas to donate clothes three years ago.
“After completing this task, I started reading about the BBBSCA programs and all of those powerful words caught my attention – mentorship, empowering, youth,” Reed said. “And as I kept on reading, I decided that I wanted to give back to my community through this program.”
BBBSCA paired up Reed with her Little, Miracle. BBBSCA refers to mentors as Bigs and mentees as Littles.
“When I first met Miracle, she was 9 years old. She was a very shy little girl, didn’t talk a lot,” Reed said.
Now, Reed describes the girl as much more outgoing.
“It’s just building relationships and helping her mom keep her on the right path because there’s so many different things out here that can grab your children,” Reed said.
Before the pandemic the two enjoyed all kind of activities together, like going to the library, reading and getting their nails done.
“I don’t have any children, so it gives me a time to bond with someone and kind of feel like what it feels like to kind of sort of be a mother in a big sister form,” Reed said.
Reed and Miracle’s pairing is just one example of the difference BBBBSCA makes in the community.
“Kids are going to find a mentor, for better or for worse, and we try to bring a good, positive influence into these kids’ lives,” BBBSCA Executive Director Tracy Matson said.
While the organization strives to make a difference it’s impossible to be that difference without financial support. That’s why BBBSCA was beyond excited to learn Rainwater, Holt and Sexton selected them as this month’s Difference Maker. The award comes with a $1000 donation.
“For them to think about us is flattering and humbling,” Matson said. “We’ll use it on match support, background checks and just trying to maintain and keep matches.”
There are currently about 70 young boys waiting to be matched with a Big Brother, so Reed has a challenge for her friends.
“I would love for them to contact the organization and just be a part of it because it’s a wonderful experience,” Reed said.
It takes a few hours a month to be a Big and it can change the trajectory of a young person’s life.