Here are this year's three finalists for Big Couple & Little Brother/Sister of the Year! The winning Big Couple & Little Brother/Sister of the Year will be announced in April.
Hannah and Clint Muzzy & Anthony
Hannah and Clint have been matched with Little Brother Anthony for almost 5 years. They’ve been with his family through good and bad times, including a battle with bed bugs and a damaging house fire that left them displaced from their home with very few personal belongings. Hannah & Clint have never hesitated to support Anthony and his family and help them get back on their feet when a disaster occurs or challenges arise.
Clint and Hannah are extremely proactive and never hesitate to spring to action when the family is faced with difficulties. They contact their Match Support Specialist to fill them in on what is going on, but they are also resourceful and don’t wait to be told what to do — they just figure out solutions and make them happen. Clint and Hannah have been through several situations that might have made a Big think about bowing out, but that has never even come up with them. They are truly part of Anthony’s family and will continue to be for a long time!
"I have always been able to call when Anthony needs some extra advice on how to get through his day, and they always ask how they can help,” said Anthony’s mother. “When we lost almost everything we had in a house fire in 2018, they were so amazing. They raised money to help us stay in a hotel before our new living arrangement was ready, and they took Anthony shopping for clothes and came back with something for everyone. They are the epitome of what it is to be a Big Couple. We are so thankful for them."
"Hannah and Clint are the best people I've met,” said Anthony. “I love them —they treat me like family. They've helped me with my attitude and everything about me. They teach me and show me new things. They make me feel like a good person, and they always encourage me to be better. I'm always happy when I'm with them."
Wesley and Emily Pierce & Dustin
Wesley and Emily have been matched with Dustin for over 3 years. Throughout their Match, Wesley and Emily have been intentional about caring for Dustin’s emotional well-being. They like to do fun things together but are not afraid to also talk about things that are important. Wesley and Emily help Dustin stay focused on his homework and do a great job of showing Dustin what is possible. They are great role models who show him how to make good decisions.
From the start of the Match, it was apparent that Emily and Wes play different, but complementary, roles in Dustin’s life. Depending on whether he wants to talk about video games, school, family, or something personal, Dustin is comfortable and able to go to Wes and Emily about anything. They have helped him explore his interests, develop hobbies, create traditions, support his education, and are always there to listen when he needs to vent. Dustin’s family life has not always been consistent or reliable, but no matter what changes happen in other aspects of Dustin’s life, Emily and Wes have been a steady presence that brings him a feeling of security and belonging.
“They are just great people,” said Dustin’s mother. “They not only spend time with him but have included him in their family. He has gotten to know their extended family, too, and they include the rest of our family in their Christmas celebrations. They have taken him on a lot of adventures that he otherwise would not have gotten to do.”
"They are always there when I need them,” said Little Brother Dustin. “Just having another person to turn to other than my parents is great. They are always there when I just need to talk, even if it is not important. It helps me have a better social life. I think they are great people overall because they don’t just help me — they help other people, too.”
Aaron Decker, Heather Webster, & Damani
Heather and Aaron have been matched with Damani for over 2 years and have been a great support system. They have been instrumental in making sure that Damani tries his best in school and work with him on his homework. Heather and Aaron also helped Damani set goals for each semester during the school year , with the potential to earn his favorite rewards after each accomplishment. This helped Damani see that they care so much about him and his future, which helped him begin to succeed in school.
Damani is proud to have Heather and Aaron in his life and talks about them often. He invites them to his school performances and science fairs to show them how hard he works (and make them proud in return). Heather and Aaron provide Damani with consistent emotional and mental support and are always there to offer advice, guidance, or a listening ear.
“When they first came into Damani’s life, he was getting in trouble,” said Damani’s mother. “He was a very closed off little boy and his grades were struggling. He now is a B and C student. Heather and Aaron have helped Damani become more responsible and a fine citizen. Their commitment to his life has been awesome. They have been a great support and have stuck with us no matter what is going on.”
“I think they are extraordinary because they are just really good at what they do,” said Little Brother Damani. I feel like they have changed my life through everything. I would not be where I am without them. I did not have anyone to look up to until Aaron and Heather came into my life. They are really great. I am glad I have the opportunity to be matched with a perfect couple that fits me so well.”