Originally published in Colchester Weekly

April 4, 2018

Georja was just six years old when she was matched with Wanda and they have been matched for almost five years.  They have done many fun things over the years. Georja’s favourite thing to do with Wanda is shopping at Value Village and going to their favourite restaurant, La Cucina in Bayers Lake. They also love to go swimming at Scotia Pool.

Georja’s brother Shawn is matched with Wanda’s husband Doug. When both these matches first started they would often do group outings together. Leanne, Georja and Shawn’s mother said Wanda and Doug have become family.

“They have enriched our lives so much. We are very blessed to have them,” said Leanne. “I think it’s important for kids to know that there is still good in this world, to know that there are people like Wanda and Doug. They have been wonderful role models to my children.”

Georja loves how kind and lovable Wanda is and is grateful for all the things she’s been able to do with her Big Sister over the years. Wanda and Georja share a passion for the creative and Leanne was quick to show me a beautiful scarf Wanda helped Georja make for her mom as a Christmas present.

“I was very impressed at how well each of my children were matched with their Bigs,” said Leanne. “They have so many similar interests and their personalities complement each other so well.”

Georja remembers being shy and nervous at first, but Wanda made her feel very comfortable and safe and before she knew it they were filling each other in on everything.

“I can talk to Wanda about anything, even if it’s really personal” said Georja.

Wanda has found the experience as a Big Sister equally as rewarding.  “My role as a Big Sister has brought me out of my shell. I am quite shy but I love to teach Georja things like knitting, painting, crafting, sewing and she teaches me to talk more about life, my experiences and my work. It’s a win-win,” said Wanda.

Our team here at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colchester is always excited to see how the relationship between the match develops overtime. Bigs often share with our caseworkers how they notice positive changes in their littles. In Wanda’s case, she’s had the privilege of watching Georgia grow up for the last five years.

“The biggest change I have seen in Georja over the years is her self-awareness. She is so kind, thoughtful and a real people person. She is just discovering within herself, the real reason she watches everything a person does and listens to everything a person says is because she’s an extrovert and loves to be around people,” expressed Wanda.

Georja said she plans on being a Big Sister someday. She wants to be someone just like Wanda. “It’s great having a Big Sister, someone who is older and wiser who I can always get advice from,” said Georja.

Wanda’s favorite thing about being a Big Sister is watching Georja’s face light up every time we get together.

“She is so full of smiles and always happy,” said Wanda. “Georja and I feel very lucky to have each other. We talk about how we will be friends forever.”

For more information on how you can become a Big Brother or Big Sister with our agency please contact us at 902-895-4562 or visit our website at www.colchesterkids.ca