"If only I had the time." That’s what so many potential volunteers think to themselves. Life is so busy … how do you clear an hour a week for mentoring?
For Big Brother Pat, he found time by just including Little Brother Derrick in the things he already liked to do. Pat liked sports, and so did Derrick, so that gave them a common ground. "We will chase any sort of ball around any sort of field or court," says Pat.
Today, Pat says the time he spends with Derrick is "the best part of my week." And for Derrick, knowing Pat has helped him grow up strong and self-assured. In the time they’ve known each other, Derrick has grown 10 inches. He’s grades have improved, and he’s looking ahead to college. He’s confident enough to stand up for what he believes in. Most important, Pat has seen Derrick "mature from a boy who maybe didn’t know his place… to a leader, whether it is on the basketball court or within his group of friends."
Five years ago, when they first started playing sports together, Pat would let Derrick win. Today, they’re both winners. The day Pat found the time to volunteer, he found a friend — and Derrick found a mentor he could laugh with, learn from and depend on.