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Big Sister finds many rewards in spending time with her ‘Little’

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By JUDY CHOWNING

Special to the News-Democrat

Why did I want to be a Big Sister when I had four grandchildren under the age of four?

I thought I could give an hour a week to make a child feel as special as I tried to make my own grandchildren feel.

Tara was in kindergarten when we started meeting at school in 2010. I was babysitting three days a week for two of my grandchildren and had visits from my others regularly I visited with Tara on days that I had off from my Grammy duties.

Then things changed and I had no off days, so the grandkids would have lunch with Tara and play board games and make crafts.

It got to the point that my grandchildren and Tara have formed a wonderful bond; they can hardly wait for the next playtime with each other.

I watched Tara go from shy and unsure at our meetings in the first year to now when her eyes show joy to see me and excitement for the next time we plan to meet. I love those hugs; they raise my spirits for the day.

We are now community based and meet one weekend a month for the day and have all day fun. Sometimes we get to go out to eat on a weeknight after school.

It is very rewarding to see Tara have an experience or activity for the first time and see how much she is enjoying being there.

You forget just how much a little thing can mean to someone when you have been doing it for years. Now I am going to movies, Chucky Cheese and malls again, first I went with my children, then my grandchildren and now with Tara.

I think it is a different feeling with Tara because I am really supposed to do those things with my family, but with Tara I am giving from my heart.She understands that and is very thankful.

If everything goes well I hope Tara and I will continue with our partnership with Big Sister and Little Sister till she reaches 16.

Then when I see Tara in the community I hope to be one of the proudest Big Sisters in Carroll County, Ky.

Judy Chowning of Carrollton is a Big Sister in the local Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.