John Ariatti, a former Big Brother and BBBS Henderson Advisory Council member, shared this story recently with Joey Popp, a BBBSWNC Board of Directors member.
Fifteen years ago, I was introduced to a 10-year-old boy by the name of Robert Little. He had been rescued from an abusive family and adopted by a single mother.
His new Mom felt that he needed a man in his life. I, a member of Big Brothers Big Sisters, was fortunate to be chosen to be that man.
Over the years we did many activities, e.g., roller skating, running, hiking, playing with the dog, going to movies, concerts, symphonies, baseball games, haunted houses, listened to all types of music, and more.
We also had conversations about whatever was on his mind. We discussed bullying, racial relations, teachers, the importance of school, politics, the Golden Rule, girls, sex, work, jobs, resumes – whatever came up in his life.
A strong trust and bond was built between us. We worked our way through turmoil, both emotional and physical. Most of all we were always honest to each other. Those times together created a lifetime of love towards each other.
Our relationship continued after he was 18. I was able to see him marry a wonderful young lady. Today Robert is 25, he has a job working for a major corporation and lives outside of Knoxville, Tenn. On Saturday, May 22, he sent me a photo and called excitedly to tell me that he and his wife, Allie, that morning, gave birth to a healthy son, Robert Little Jr. I was excited and happy as he was!
I can’t tell you how grateful I am to BBBS for guiding me to Robert and giving me the opportunity to have this this lifelong relationship with my Little Brother.