April 21, 2021
What’s surprised me the most about this whole experience is when I signed up initially, I thought it was going to be a lot of me giving - my time, mentorship - a one way street. My experience couldn't be more different from that.
How has your relationship evolved with your little?
I first met my little when he was in 3rd grade and he was pretty shy. Now, he’s wrapping up his 8th grade year, and shy is the last thing I would use to describe him. I’ve watched him grow into a confident young man. Seeing his development and growth has been exponential, from his gained confidence to his social skills. He’ll walk into a room and make friends.
What is great about our relationship is that my little knows that I’m not his parent. I may be an adult, but I’m just a friend. Our Big-Little relationship has evolved tremendously over the last five years and the fact that we both just wanted to be friends makes our time together natural and fluid. There’s no forcing anything.
Why did you think volunteering at BBBS would be a good match for you?
When I was looking to get involved in an organization to give back, everything about Big Brothers Big Sisters just felt right. I get so much out of this experience, and I think that’s my favorite piece of being involved. It doesn’t feel like volunteer work and it’s been a really incredible way for me to “fill my cup”. As adults, we tend to get caught up in the minutiae of our routines. Seeing the world through your little’s lens gives you a few hours of time where none of that is on your mind, which really puts everything into perspective.
Can you tell me about the aspect(s) of the volunteer experience that you’ve really enjoyed?
In normal times, we play board games in the Winter, go outside and play tennis in the Spring. This Summer, we’d like to try golf and get into some more fishing at Hinkley Park. My little loves my dog, Chester, and we enjoy going for walks. We also get to enjoy meals together - Flatbread is our go to spot.
Is there something you wish people knew about you… what would that be and why?
I’d describe myself as a simple guy. I thrive and get the most out of life by being around others and building relationships (friendship, family, business). I think that ties into my experience with BBBS and believe that’s why the organization has had such an impact on me personally. Knowing the impact you can have with the little effort it takes to put in is a twofold benefit as a volunteer.
- Brian McHugh, Big Brothers Big Sister of Maine