The Times West Virginian

November 27, 2012

Making an impact

Big Brothers Big Sisters evens playing field for children

By Jonathan Williams
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Not everyone has the same opportunities.

What children become when they grow up has a lot to do with the examples that are set for them and the role models they have as a child.

“We’re helping to even out that playing field a little bit,” said Sylvia Hawkins, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Central West Virginia, one of the 21 member agencies of the United Way of Marion County.

BBBS is a national organization that helps match adult volunteers with children from single-parent families, creating bonds that can last for life.

“It’s just been a good experience overall,” said Heather Moebus, who has been matched with her current Little Sister, Martha, for two years now. She said it’s about “helping kids through what they need helped through.”

Big Brothers and Big Sisters spend time doing everyday activities with their Little Brothers or Little Sisters.

“People say that they don’t have time, but it’s not about that,” Moebus said. “Any time you can give is good.”

In the past few months, she and Martha have done projects like carve pumpkins for Halloween or spend a day at the Wow Factory in Morgantown, but some days they may cook s’mores in a firepit or sit at home and play video games or board games. Martha said she has fun no matter what they do.

“It’s just a matter of doing things that you enjoy doing,” Hawkins said, “with a child along.”

When it comes to spending time with her Little Sister, she said, “my whole family gets involved.”

Martha is Moebus’ second Little Sister. Her first, whom she spent three years with, is 17 now, and Moebus said they still keep in touch.


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