Each year, Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City recognizes three Matches as Bigs and Littles of the Year!
They are recognized for their extraordinary dedication to helping their Littles achieve their biggest possible future. They represent what it means to be a Defender of Potential.
Check out their incredible stories and videos below.
BURT & COLTEN
Big Brother & Little Brother of the Year
Burt has gone above and beyond the role of a Big Brother to Colten for eight years now. Colten lost his father to cancer shortly before his mother enrolled him in BBBS. Colten was really feeling the loss of a male role model and Burt stepped up in a big way.
Burt has attended every annual Boy Scout Sunday, he comes to his music concerts, helps him practice sports, and has been there for all of the tough “man-to-man” conversations that have come up through the years. He’s there when Colten needs advice, a motivating push, or to teach him how to do new things, like work on a car or mow the yard.
Colten’s mom Charlynn said, “I don’t think they could have found a better match for my son than Burt. His laid-back attitude is a good balance to Colten and their sense of humor is very similar. I’m so very thankful for Big Brothers Big Sisters for finding Burt” to complete our family”.
Click here to watch their video!
TANDRA & GABBY
Big Sister & Little Sister of the Year
Since they were matched in 2014, Tandra and Gabby have hung out nearly every week, sometimes multiple times a week. In these eight years, they’ve seen and done a little bit of everything: trips to the movies and Royals games, visits to the Plaza, evenings at the theater, mandatory ice cream stops, and even a boat ride! Tandra and Gabby recently celebrated together when Gabby got her first job.
Tandra also has a lot of expertise when it comes to school and professional opportunities, whether helping Gabby out with tutoring sessions at the library or providing insights for the job hunt. In partnership with Gabby’s mom, Addie, Tandra has made Gabby’s education a priority, while at the same time making sure Gabby gets to be a kid, have fun, and explore.
Addie says, “Tandra never ceases to amaze me with how big her heart can get when it comes to caring about others. We are so blessed to have her be a part of our lives and a part of our family. Tandra believes wholeheartedly that just a little extra time and care from someone can make a world of difference in our lives and in the lives of others.”
Click here to watch their video.
BRIAN, BONNIE & OSKAR
Big Couple & Little Brother of the Year
When Big Couple Brian and Bonnie first met Little Brother Oskar, Oskar was wearing a cardboard mask with two eyeholes cut out. It was apparent from the beginning that this match was meant to be. Oskar, Brian, and Bonnie are all very creative and curious people. Oskar, who is on the autism spectrum, is comfortable being himself around Brian and Bonnie, and they are always there for him with structure, consistency, and, most importantly, fun.
They love taking Oskar’s dog on walks, using the 3D printer at the Johnson County Library, and exploring anything involving art, music, or animals.
Oskar’s father passed away when he was two years old, and Oskar and his mother, Julia, have no family in the Kansas City area. Julia says, “Bonnie and Brian have provided Oskar with a larger sense of family. The stability, support, and camaraderie they provide have helped ground Oskar as well as providing a sense of family and community. Their presence in his life is priceless and I couldn’t be more grateful. He has a big brother and a big sister now.”
Click here to watch their video!