Original story by Becky Day and all credit goes to Thorold and Niagara News, circa September, 2009.
Ryan Day met Jacob in October 2007. Growing up, Ryan always had a positive male role model to look up to and he knew he would want to help young people some day.
“I wanted to do something to give back.” Day said. “Being a Big Brothers has given me a real look at the impact a positive male role model can have on a young boy. I can visibly see how excited Jacob is when I arrive to pick him up, and that alone makes it worthwhile.”
Day first began with the St. Catharines, Thorold & District agency when he was a student at Brock University and living in Thorold. While most most kids only focus on studies and socializing, he also became a Big Brother.
A full time student that works and volunteers a few nights a week for his church, Day has made time to spend with his Little Brother, Jacob.
“It takes a little effort to make a huge impact.” Day said.
“I’m very busy but it is one more thing I work into my schedule. I make it a priority.”
Both a little nervous for their first meeting, the pair now spend at least an hour a week together skating, going to movies, playing baseball, riding bikes and tobogganing.
“I like playing” said Jacob on why he likes spending time with Ryan. “You get to do more stuff.”
“He’s a fun kid to hang out with.” said Day. “It’s very rewarding to hang out with someone that needs it. It’s not a big time commitment and much of what we do is free.”
“They might not have anyone close to play with and someone to talk to.” said Jacob on why more people should consider Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“There is plenty of opportunity for anyone who wants to get involved in mentoring a child and making a difference in their lives to do so.” said David Hutt, Big Brother caseworker. “There is a need for volunteers like Ryan who can make the commitment to make a life-lasting impression on a child.”
“We also know that there are more children out there that could really use a mentor and we hope that getting the word out regarding some of the positive impacts our programs are having will inspire not only potential volunteers, but also parents or guardians of potential ‘Littles’ to make that call.”