National Mentoring Month:  Honey Dew Donuts
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National Mentoring Month: Honey Dew Donuts

by Hanna Souhail
Posted January 23, 2019

This National Mentoring Month, we’re happy to collaborate with long time partner and supporter Honey Dew Donuts.  For the last week of January, if you donate a dollar to us, you’ll receive a free donut coupon for your next visit!  Want to know more about how Honey Dew defends potential?  Check out Honey Dew’s Kara Kavanaugh and Darlene Guenette as they discuss their experiences as mentors below!

Kara was matched with her Little in 2009.  Although they aren’t still matched through a formal Big/Little program, they see each other a few times a year.

What led you to decide to volunteer as a Big?

At the time I was 25, single and looking to do something that was meaningful for my community. My dad was a Big Brother at the time and suggested that I get involved.

Do you have a favorite memory with your Little?

My Little was 7 when we were matched and we still talk about the time we had our first meeting. We went to the aquarium and she was so little! She’s 16, almost 17 now, so just watching her grow has been the best memory.

What has been the most rewarding part of being a Big Sister?

I think it’s when she sends me a text about how she had a great day when she sees me or when she opens up about the problems she may have now; it makes me feel like she really values what I say to her, which in return makes me feel good- like I am doing something positive for her.

How has it impacted your life? Has it taught you anything about yourself? About others?

My Little grew up with the odds against her but she has a great head on her shoulders, wants to go to college, and doesn’t involve herself with the wrong crowd.  My experience being a Big has really opened my eyes that you can rise above anything, even if the odds are against you.

Explain why Honey Dew’s partnership with BBBSMB is important.

Being a mentor is a wonderful way to spread positivity. What is better than a healthy relationship with an adult that these kids can trust? I’ve learned you don’t have to solve their problems, you just have to be there for them, spend some time with them and give them attention. Creating a larger awareness for BBBS is the main goal…the more mentors for kids in need, the better our society can be!

What would you tell to other adults who may be hesitant to volunteer as Big?

Think of your Little’s big bright smile when they see you! You could be having the worst day, but to them you are so much more! Plus, they bring out your inner kid-self.

Darlene and her Little, Brianna, started their relationship in 2006.  When Brianna celebrated her 20th birthday in 2016, their formal match ended, but they still continue their relationship and are going on their 13th year of friendship!

What led you to decide to volunteer as a Big?

I had heard how wonderful BBBS was and I wanted to spend time with a young girl who might need someone older to depend on or just someone to hang out with and listen to what she has to say.

Do you have a favorite memory with your Little?

Absolutely, but truly there are so many.  I think the best memory that comes to mind was when her grandmother asked me if I would take her to get her ears pierced. She was about 11 at the time.  We went to the mall and she was super excited.  We picked out the studs, she sat in the chair and I could tell she was getting a bit nervous.  They pierced the first ear and she turned white as a ghost!! She was afraid to tell me how much it hurt, so then they did the other ear and she just about passed out.  The poor thing- I had to have her sit on the floor, drink water and rest before she could stand back up.  Looking back now it’s a funny memory. The earrings lasted about 2 months, she took them out and never had her ears pierced again!

What has been the most rewarding part of being a Big Sister?

Oh my gosh, so many things, but truly just watching her grow into a hardworking, sweet person. She has told me in the past that I have been the one person she can always count on and that makes me very happy to know that she thinks that way of me and she knows I am always here for her.

How has it impacted your life? Has it taught you anything about yourself? About others?

As I have always been married since I was matched with Brianna, it has not only impacted my life but my husband’s as well.  She is such a part of our lives and it’s been so fun watching her through the years.  We would measure her when we first met her and we continued to do so through the years, although she never reached past 4’11! We have done countless things together and I love that we showed her what a normal loving “family” atmosphere is.  Being a Big Sister to Brianna is truly one of the best things I have ever done in my life.

Explain why Honey Dew’s partnership with BBBSMB is important?

Honey Dew is so involved in the communities we do business in and BBBS is a perfect fit!  The brand awareness we can give to BBBS through our shops in getting more Bigs to volunteer their time to help the Littles in our areas is a wonderful opportunity we are happy to give.

What does it mean to you personally and professionally?

Being a Big for so many years now, I have personally seen how one person can make a difference in someone’s life.  I love that Honey Dew recognizes this and wants to do all they can to help.

What would you tell to other adult who may be hesitant to volunteer as Big?

That they should have NO hesitation at all!! It will be one of the most rewarding things they will ever do.  Not every match is as successful as mine- 13 years and going strong- but any length of time spent helping a little along their path to adulthood is time very well spent.

You can learn more about our partnership and how Honey Dew is defending potential this National Mentoring Month HERE.

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