Volunteer Mentor Sees Difference A Perfect Match Can Make

Framed photos decorate Char Laney’s tidy desk at JDP Electric, Inc., in Fargo. Among pictures of family members and pets is a small silver frame. It shows Char with her “youngest friend,” on their first outing to West Acres mall.

For over three years, Char has volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of The Village. It started with a simple commitment: to meet with her young mentee once a week at a nearby elementary school over her lunch break.

“The first day, I just knew we clicked,” Char says. “I have no problem making conversation. Neither does she.”

Char Laney spends one lunch hour a week volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

They talk about any old thing. They play board games – Connect Four is a favorite – or hang out on the playground. “As a volunteer Big your job is just to have fun,” Char says. “It’s my happy hour.”

After a couple years, Char started mentoring her Little outside of school, too. In addition to their weekly school sessions, they now get together at least twice a month. Char worried they’d have trouble finding things to do, but that hasn’t been the case. BBBS shares suggestions, organizes parties and sometimes provides tickets to events.

“She’s my youngest friend, and that’s a good thing,” Char says. “It keeps me young. I love that girl.”

During their time together, Char says she’s seen a weight lift off her Little’s shoulders.

“I tell her all the time she can do anything,” Char says.

Thanks, in part, to a perfect match.

On Feb. 9, you can help match more kids with volunteer mentors like Char. Plus, donations up to $4,000 will be matched. Visit www.givingheartsday.org and donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters of The Village.

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