NewsNow E-Edition September 22, 2022

BBBS searches for 30 in 30

Big Brother Charles Burley (Left) poses for a wedding photo with Little Brother Davin Warner.

By Tristan Marks
NewsNow

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) is an organization all about transforming lives.

Its mentorship programs help shape young boys and girls to flourish and thrive by matching them with adult volunteers who act as a guide, a voice of wisdom and, above all, a friend.

However, this experience is also transformative for the mentor as well. Both Big Brother and Little Brother change each other’s lives for the better.

This was no different for Davin Warner, whose experience with mentor Charles Burley has helped him to grow into a confident young man. His mother, Melissa Warner said Davin has only had good outcomes from being matched with Charles.

“Charles has allowed Davin to come out of his shell,” she said.

“It’s amazing to see the positive effects [from BBBS] on these kids’ lives.”

She said the two were set for a life long friendship “right from the beginning”.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better Big Brother for Davin, the system the organization has for matches is phenomenal,” Melissa said.

“They just clicked when they saw each other, it was like they were brothers from the start”

The two first met when Davin was around 12 years old and the two quickly became like family. Melissa refers to the two as “the boys”.

After four years, Charles had to step away from BBBS because of scheduling difficulties, but he said he and Davin remain very close and in constant contact.

“Moving away from the organization isn’t something I take lightly. But one of thing both Davin and I realized during COVID-19 was that our friendship has ascended beyond the scope of what Big Brothers is able to do for us,” Charles said.

“I’ll be forever grateful to them for introducing me to Davin and Melissa, I consider them my family now. I’ll be mentoring Davin for as long as he’ll let me or until we inevitably reach that the student has become the master moment.”

Charles even asked Davin and Melissa to play a big role during his wedding last year.

“Davin has been one of the biggest parts of my life for the past four years, and having him stand with me on my wedding day was an honour for me,” Charles said.

Melissa – who officiates weddings – was overjoyed to be able to play a part in Charles’ marriage.

“He’s a part of the family and it was like seeing your son get married,” she said.

Both Charles and Davin have sought out opportunities to give back to BBBS in return for what the organization has done for them.

Charles raised money for the organization through his wedding, and Davin said that he one day wants to be a mentor himself.

BBBS of North & West Niagara marketing and communications officer Nicole Boccia named Charles and Davin as examples for her organization’s “30 Guys in 30 Days” campaign. The goal through this campaign is to recruit 30 male mentors to help some of the more than 50 boys currently on a waiting list.

“Did you know that 55 per cent of Canadian men have never been asked to volunteer, according to Statistics Canada? Consider this your personal invitation to volunteer with BBBS. There are boys in our community who are struggling and need someone like you by their side. Big Brothers Big Sisters of North & West Niagara needs men with real-life experience who are willing to spend a few hours a week with a young boy,” Nicole said.

“You may not realize it, but just a few hours a week from you is all it will take to make a lifetime of a difference for him.”

To become a volunteer, visit: bbbsmentors.ca.

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