Sunday, March 25, 2012

Volunteering is a Family Affair

Phillip Beck along with Ava and Ricky Bertke.  Phillip
is the son of Clarissa Smith of Sidney and the Bertke children
are from Jeff and jennie Bertke of Anna.
For seven year old, Ava Bertke and her brother, four year old Ricky volunteering and giving back to the community has started at an early age. These two siblings are part of a family match through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

When Jeff and Jennie Bertke of Anna, decided to become volunteer mentors through the program, Ava and Rickey were all for it. The family became matched with Little Brother, Phillip Beck, of Sidney in December of 2009 and have made great strides in forming a lasting and positive relationship. Phillip Beck is the son of Clarissa Smith.

Jeff and Jennie, as well as their children, treat Phillip as part of their family. Phillip is also getting the opportunity to be a “Big Brother” since he is the youngest child of three in his own home. Although some activities are done one on one, the family of five can be spotted all over Ohio exploring and visiting local attractions, both fun and educational. Many activities take place in the home of Jeff and Jennie, as well, but the highlight of these outings is the relationship that is forming and all the memorable photos that are taken. Each year the family works on a scrap book of their outings and then it is given to Phillip as a keepsake of the treasured outings the family has shared.

Ricky and Ava are learning valuable life lessons too. Not only do they share the attention of their parents with Phillip, but their toys as well. Jeff and Jenny are busy parents who both work full time and are active within their community. However, they have made a commitment to be volunteer mentors, one that will ultimately touch the life of Phillip forever.

Clarissa reports that she sees so many positive changes in Phillips life as a result of this match. His behavior and social skills have improved as a result of the positive role models he has with Jeff & Jennie and their family.
Jeff says, “I like to see our Little get a chance to be a “big brother” to our younger children. He is learning responsibility in that role.” “We are glad to have Phil in our lives, and hope we have a positive impact on his life like he has made in ours.”

Big Sister Pam Berning of Anna and her Little
brother DJ Couchot, of Sidney. DJ is the son of Tanya
Couchot of Sidney.
Another very successful match is that of Big Sister Pam Berning of Anna, and Little Brother Dennis ‘DJ’ Couchot, of Sidney. DJ is the son of Tanya Couchot of Sidney. Pam and D.J. will soon celebrate three years of their match relationship in May of this year.

Pam, a secretary for Shelby County Board of DD, working at Shelby Hills Early Childhood Center is a busy mother of three very active teenager sons. However, when she heard about the need for more volunteers mentors for our organization, her busy life didn’t stop her from stepping up to be a Big Sister. Pam is not only impacting the life of DJ, she states, “the life lessons my family and I are learning from our relationship with DJ have been incredible! My family loves DJ’s sense of humor and watching him interact with our family, friends, and neighbors.”

Tanya reports that she also likes that they can help him with his homework and encourage him in his academics. She states that DJ is “more positive” since being matched with Pam.

While many of the activities are one on one, DJ is not a stranger to the home environment of three busy teenage boys. DJ Is included in many of their family activities. Pam and DJ have enjoyed outings, such as a pool party, high school volley ball games, and climbing into farm tractors and a combine. A highlight was attending a Cincinnati Reds baseball game. Dj is not only being impacted by having a positive role model in his life he is getting to experience being a part of a family environment.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke County is a non-profit United Way member, social service agency. Lisa Brown is Executive Director of the agency. The program specializes in matching children facing adversity with adult volunteer Big Brothers and Sisters. These adults provide children with positive role modeling, as well as new educational and social activities. If you would like to make the difference in the life of a child but are unable to volunteer at this time, Big Brothers Big Sisters has many other opportunities throughout the year for others to become involved. Learn more about our agency by logging onto or calling 937-547-9622 or 937-492-7611.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Featured Posts

/* Track outbound links in Google Analytics */