All credit and excerpts from this story go to Cathy Pelletier and Niagara This Week. Article published Friday, January 28th, 2005.
When 10-year old Daniel Sutherland of Thorold met Jeremy Smalley, it was a Big day for both of them.
“The only boy in the family.” according to his single mother, Nancy, and an only child. Daniel says he was lonely before meeting his Big Brother. “After my father passed away, I felt Daniel needed a good male role model,” says Nancy. “I knew (Big Brothers Big Sisters) had a good reputation.”
Jeremy finds it rewarding watching Daniel grow up: being his “father figure.”
“We have taken to each other greatly,” says Jeremy. “It can be as simple as taking the dog for a walk. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive.”
"Working in a juvenile detention centre, I see a lot of kids who don't necessarily have positive role models and I see the bad choices they make. I really wanted to influence someone who's at that critical stage."
“It’s great to hear how we affect their lives.” says CEO, Dale Davis. “We have an army of volunteers who are the backbone of this agency.”
Jeremy, who sometimes accompanies Daniel on school trips, says Daniel often asks “What’s going to happen to me when I turn 16? Are you going to say goodbye?”.
“Daniel’s great. It’s a lifetime experience. I don’t plan on ending it.” says Jeremy.
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