Big Brothers Big Sisters ‘Littles’ volunteer in fundraising operations

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cashiers and Highlands recently held its annual Croquet Tournament of the Plateau at Sapphire Valley Country Club to raise money for programs at BBBS, but it wasn’t only the ‘Bigs’ doing the work.

Littles Bella Dorsey, 15, and Nayely Mireles, 14, volunteered their time at the event because of the tremendous impact BBBS has had on their lives. Dorsey and Mireles are pictured from left to right respectively at the top of the article while volunteering at the annual croquet tournament at Sapphire Valley Country Club.

BBBS’ mission is to select and match mentors with children facing adversity and provide ongoing activities, training and support services for both families and volunteers to foster a successful match relationship and a lasting connection.

Dorsey said its awesome to do all kinds of activities with her Big Marsha Moxley such as hiking, swimming, baking cookies, shopping, kayaking, etc.; but it’s more than that.

“It’s great to do all these fun things, and Marsha is the coolest Big ever,” said Dorsey. “I can call or text if I need help with my schoolwork or want to talk because I’m having a rough day. She’s helped me get through a lot of stuff.”

From left are Marsha Moxley, former Cashiers Advisory Council Chairwoman Elisabeth St John, and Bella Dorsey at the annual croquet tournament.

Moxley has been Dorsey’s Big for over a year and said it has been an incredibly positive experience.

“When I’m with her, we do what she wants to do, it’s her time,” said Moxley. “And honestly, I think I get more out of this relationship than I give. She’s wonderful.”

Mireles said some of her favorite things she’s done with her Big Danielle Hernandez includes visiting an escape room, eating fried Oreos, and shopping for Christmas presents for her family.

“It’s cool because we get to do fun things I would never get the chance to do and she’s always there for me,” said Mireles. “If I need help with something or don’t know what to do in a situation, I can always call her.”

She added that Hernandez has helped her improve her grades and people skills, and been given opportunities she could not have gotten herself.

Nayely Mireles sold raffle tickets during lunch at the annual croquet tournament to raise money for BBS operations..

Hernandez is also the BBBS Program Coordinator for Cashiers and Highlands.

“It sounds sort of cliche, but there’s nothing more rewarding than watching a child you’ve worked with blossom and grow,” said Hernandez. “Watching Nayely work through life’s challenges as a teenager and seeing what passions she has, and working so hard to achieve those goals, is beyond inspiring. This program is about mentoring children, but oftentimes we forget just how much a child can impact your life as a mentor as well. Nayely makes it worth it, plain and simple!”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC Executive Director Lelia Duncan speaks to croquet players about the impact BBBS can have on a child’s life.

She added that BBBS of Cashiers and Highlands is a community-based match, meaning Bigs and Littles get together two times a month for a few hours at a time and do things in the community or surrounding areas. But there are other match options such as school based or site based.

“I would love to make a call to action for anyone who is looking for an opportunity to give back,” she said. “Philanthropy is more than money and donations; while that is incredibly important to reach our goals and provide the Mission that is BBBS, philanthropy is also about time. The children we serve in our community need someone who can give them just that, time. They need a champion, and every single child deserves a champion.”

Hernandez thanked BBBS Advisory Council Member Nancy Albers for her efforts in planning the annual fundraiser.

“Also, I’d like to take the opportunity send a huge shout out to Nancy Albers,” said Hernandez. “She has yet again successfully organized and executed an amazing fundraising event here on the Plateau for the BBBS program. She is a phenomenal event planner and fundraiser, and we are beyond blessed to have her on our Advisory Council.”

BBBS Recruitment and Development Specialist Dorian Palmer speaks to those at the croquet tournament and explained the profound role BBBS has played throughout his life.

To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina click HERE.

Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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