“I want a Big Brother so I have someone to hang out and have fun with.” – Jack, age 10
What if you could make a meaningful difference in a child’s life this holiday season?
My name is Alexandre and I’m a former Little Brother. This holiday season, I can’t think of a more important gift to give than a mentor and life-long friend to a child who needs one. I know firsthand that great things happen when a child receives the valuable gift of mentorship and the guidance they need to succeed in life.
Alexandre with Big Brother Marc on Parliament Hill in 2003.
I was raised by a single mom, who tried her very best to fulfill the role of both a mother and a father. Despite my mother’s best efforts, by the age of seven, I was becoming an unhappy and angry kid. Recognizing that I needed a male role model in my life, my mom reached out to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa (BBBSO) and enrolled me into the Big Brothers program. She believed that having a mentor in my life would make me a well-rounded and happier person – and she was right.
I first met my Big Brother Marc at the age of eight and we clicked right away. I still vividly remember our first outing together. BBBSO had given us a pair of tickets to an Ottawa 67’s hockey game at Lansdowne Arena. Marc picked me up in his mid-1990’s Buick Regal and listened to me talk through the entire game, barely getting a word in, but he continued to listen to me – and he still does today. Having an adult male to talk to and spend time with made me feel whole. I knew that I mattered and I also felt less angry. I looked forward to seeing Marc and spending a few hours with him each week.
Marc and I have continued to hang out or talk to each other almost every single week for over 15 years. He has been there to support me through the tough times, and has inspired me to grow personally, professionally, and academically. I know that I can count on him to be there whenever I need someone, and I feel very lucky and grateful to have him in my life.
You can change a child’s life by giving them the gift of a mentor this holiday season.
Today, at 24 years old, I’m happy, I’ve successfully graduated from University and am a young professional with a bright future. I am also a confident public speaker and an ambassador for BBBSO.
Alexandre with Big Brother Marc at his graduation from the University of Ottawa in 2017.
My relationship with Marc is an example of the life-changing impact mentorship can have on a young person. I know my life would have turned out much differently without having my Big Brother in it.
Right now, there are 20 children who need a mentor to give them the attention they deserve, to help them make good life decisions and to be there for them when they need it most. To match each child with a Big Brother or Sister, it costs $1500. This also provides the match with support by a trained staff member with a background in social work, and gives them opportunities to attend group events and activities for one full year. This means, with your support, if $30,000 is raised in the next six weeks, 20 children will receive the most important holiday gift of all – friendship and support.
Alexandre sharing his story at the 2018 Big Brothers Big Sisters Breakfast Fundraiser.
Your gift will match a child with a mentor who will positively change their life and be there for them for years to come.
With hope and gratitude,
Former Little Brother
P.S. Give a child encouraging hope and the gift of mentorship this holiday season.