Bigs Tell Their Stories
Keith Wood Suggests: In a Little's Mind, Time is the 'Big' Thing
Dr. Keith Wood had been exposed to the idea of volunteer mentoring when some friends in medical school got started with it. “I wanted to be involved at the time, but I felt that I was too busy,” Wood says. “Eventually I decided to apply when I entered my second year of residency.”
And shortly thereafter the thoughtful volunteer was matched with his Little Brother, Da’Von, through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri. The pair have been teamed for a little more than a year and have already crammed a lifetime of fun experiences in roughly 15 months’ time.
“We’ve gone to baseball games, a hockey game, a football game, the zoo, the park. Other times we just hang out and play video games,” Wood recalls. “We also got tickets to the Michael Jackson Cirque de Soleil (through BBBSEMO). That was outstanding.”
Although Wood says he likes the idea of exposing his 8-year-old Little Brother to new things, it’s not the specific activity that means the most to Da’Von. “It’s about the time we spend together. I’m another person he can rely on. He appreciates the fact that I’m interested in what he thinks,” the insightful Big Brother says.
Wood says that he benefits from the friendship, too. “It’s just enjoyable – he makes me laugh and he’s a lot of fun to talk to. It’s interesting to get a kid’s perspective on the world,” Wood explains.
Hoping to pass along the importance of respect for others and other positive personality traits, Wood says he does view himself as a role model for his second-grade Little Brother. “I try to be someone he can look up to – someone he can emulate.”
Challenging others to get involved and volunteer to be a Big, Wood suggests, “It’s a great way to learn more about yourself and others while helping a child that can benefit from some guidance. It’s very rewarding.”
Looking back on his concerns about having the time to volunteer, Wood asserts that even the busiest of people can make it work. “I’m fairly busy at work, but the time commitment is completely doable – and it’s a lot of fun.”
For more information about how you can make a difference in a child’s life by becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister, contact Jacquie Young by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (314) 361-5900.
(In the pictures are Dr. Keith Wood and Little Brother Da'Von.)
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