Meet Big Brother Chris and Little Brother Shane, one of our Kansas City Big and Little of the Year finalists. Their fun personalities helped them create a unique bond from the start, but as the years have passed their friendship has turned into something that feels more like family.
Shane’s father passed away from brain cancer when Shane was very young. His mom, Shannon, enrolled him in the program so he could have a male role model in his life.
“Shane was quite sad and lonely for his dad,” said Shannon. “He had become more closed off and unmotivated. He was the new kid at school, struggling to make friends, and missing everything from the past. From the first time Chris came to our house to meet Shane, it just felt right. He fit right into our family. He has been the best Big we could have asked for. Shane was hoping and longing for a Big that would not just be a positive role model and mentor, but also a Big that could be silly and fun, much like his dad was. Not that anyone could ever replace his dad, but Chris has helped fill a void and has given Shane a chance to laugh and learn with someone that always has his back.”
In their three years together, Chris and Shane have had many experiences together. They love attending Comicon together every year, going to TopGolf, watching superhero movies, and playing jokes on one another. Chris attends Shane’s wrestling meets and is even teaching him how to drive. Chris has given Shane the confidence to go out and pursue his dreams. No matter what is going on in his personal life, Chris always keeps Shane his priority and is dedicated to seeing him.
“Chris is a great role model, person, and Big”, said Shane. “He is always making sure that I am doing well in school. He would do anything that would help me be academically successful. Not only that, but Chris makes sure that I make good choices and am doing good in life. Chris is basically family at this point. We invite him to watch football games with us, events, Thanksgiving, birthdays, Christmas, etc. He’s been in the crowd to cheer me on in sports and school activities. He even volunteered to be a debate judge at my school on a Saturday morning. Chris is always available and willing to help. If we ever needed help with yard work, car repairs, or really anything, we know Chris will be there”.
This year, Shane is a freshman in high school. For a teenage boy, it takes a lot of courage to uproot part of his life and begin again at a new school. With the support of his mom and Big Brother Chris, Shane was able to have a smooth transition to his new school. Shane has seen how Chris is extroverted and can easily make friends with other people. Having a role model like this helped give Shane the confidence to branch out and develop deep friendships. Within the first few weeks of being at his new school, Shane was invited to go on a camping trip with some of his new peers. He is very happy with his decision to switch schools and attributes Chris for part of this smooth transition!
“As Shane gets older, I think he appreciates Chris more and more”, said Shannon. He looks forward to every chance he gets to hang out with his Big and if they don’t see each other, they still stay in touch by phone. Chris makes Shane laugh, and never forgets a special day, not just Shane’s birthday, but holidays like Mother’s Day too. He comes to our home bearing thoughtful gifts and makes us feel loved and special. Christopher is not just a Big Brother, he is family”.
Check out this adorable interview that Chris did with his Little Brother Shane when raising money for Big Brothers Big Sisters here.