Our first entry is from Laurel Kunesh, our match support specialist and school buddies coordinator
Stories – that’s what it’s all about; listening to stories. I learn about kindhearted, big hearted, adults who want to spend time volunteering by listening to their life stories. Some understand loss and loneliness and want to help a child feel loved and special. Some grew up in what they feel was an idyllic family setting and they want to “give something back” to society. Others just want to hang out with a kid and have some fun.
Listening to the stories of the children is fascinating in a different way. Some answer questions you didn’t even ask, their stories are bursting out their seams. Some are sheltered and innocent and they don’t know how chaotic their home life really is….they don’t know it could be different; well, some of them know it is different for some of their peers and they secretly envy them. Some are surrounded by loving adults who understand that their child needs extra attention, they ask for a Big for their child to help fill that empty spot.
Eventually matches are made and stories blend – pasts are shared – futures are projected. New stories emerge, new memories are created. Supporting each match means putting all the bits and pieces together; adding to each story are those who form the village: teachers, counselors, occasional family members, and anyone else who show up on the path.
Matching stories, pairing lives, supporting relationships, that is what my job is all about.