Daniel Church (from left) along with Andy Lee, Halley Church and Rachel Klopp are all members of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria and Area program.
 (Katherine Engqvist/News Gazette staff)

Daniel Church (from left) along with Andy Lee, Halley Church and Rachel Klopp are all members of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria and Area program. (Katherine Engqvist/News Gazette staff)

Bowl for Kids Sake later this month in Langford

More than 120 kids looking for Big Brothers and Big Sisters in Greater Victoria

While not everyone is involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria and Area because of an adverse situation, they are all benefiting in more ways than one.

“It’s really fun because you’re not alone and you have someone to see all the time,” said Daniel Church, 10. “It’s super fun to have a Big Brother … Andy taught me to learn how to ride a bike.”

Daniel’s Big Brother Andy Lee joined the program because he thought it would be fun. “I’m retired and I needed something to do,” he explained, noting he and his wife don’t have any grandkids of their own.

“We spend most of Saturdays together,” he said. “I think it’s a wonderful program. Big Brothers provides lots of support, lots of ideas for things to do.”

Daniel’s older sister Halley, 15, joined the program after it was suggested to her. “Now it’s just the best decision I have ever made,” she said.

Her Big Sister Rachel Klopp, 25, joined as a mentor while in her last year of university, looking to gain some volunteer experience. “I had looked at the program since I was 14 and I’d always wanted to be a part of it,” she explained. “I was a student when I started so it was a really nice break to go do something fun instead of just studying. Now it’s just my hobby.”

Klopp and Halley do all sorts of fun things together too, whether it’s spending time at the mall or going the movies.

“Sometimes it’s just us hanging out and chilling like you would with any other friend,” Klopp said. “We’ve gone to a lot of shows.”

She added they even went to the Nutcracker at the end of last year. “We get a lot of fun tickets and opportunities we wouldn’t [normally] thanks to Big Brothers Big Sisters.”

But it’s an opportunity not all children get to have as there are roughly 120 kids on the wait list for Greater Victoria.

In 2017, Big Brothers Big Sisters served more than 700 local kids with the help of more than 400 individuals volunteering their time.

In the hopes of helping more local youth, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria and Area is hosting Bowl for Kids Sake, a fundraising event April 20 to 22 at Langford Lanes.

While space for bowlers is sold out on the Friday, there are still some slots open Saturday and Sunday. Organizers are also still looking for sponsors and auction items.

“We would love the community to know that their contributions truly changes lives,” said Eliza Gibb, Bowl for Kids Sake event co-ordinator. “Many families and children seek our services because they are facing adversities in life including mental health issues, family violence, or poor living conditions. With the community’s support, we are able to accommodate the needs of each child, lessen social stigma by focusing on resiliency, and offer the potential of a long-lasting relationship necessary for change, healthy lifestyles, and future success.”

Daniel and Halley’s mother Amanda noted the program has been nothing but beneficial for her kids.

“They needed positive role models in their lives … they needed that extra support they couldn’t get from home,” she said. “I could not have asked for better matches for my kids. I don’t want to imagine where my kids would have been without them.”

For more information on the event or Big Brothers Big Sisters, go to bbbsvictoria.com.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

file
Oak Bay resident bilked $3,300 in puppy scam

Three cases of fraud reported in two days

Sidney’s Star Cinema has temporarily closed as part of efforts to COVID-19. (Black Press Media File).
Sidney’s Star Cinema temporarily goes dark

Closure reflects provincial health order in effect until Dec. 7

Victoria police are asking for help locating Jordan Doddridge who is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
VicPD seek help locating man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

Jordan Doddridge has an extensive criminal history including violent offences

(Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria dine and dash brings $230 fine

Group paid the bill, police locate suspect who violated provincial restrictions, mistreated staff

SD62 says parents of kids who have problems with bus stops and pick up times should reach out to their transportation department to find a solution. This comes after a Grade 10 student attending EMCS in Sooke found out he had to walk 45 minutes to get to the nearest bus pickup. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bus route mishap leaves EMCS student walking 45 mins to pickup spot

Sooke School District willing to work with family to find solution

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Parksville’s French Creek Harbour experienced a diesel spill on Nov. 23 after a barge and fishing vessel collided. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Coast Guard cleans up diesel spill in Parksville’s French Creek Harbour

Barge carrying fuel truck collides with fishing vessel

Stock photo
Senior from Gibsons caught viewing child porn sentenced to 10 months

74-year-old pleaded guilty after police seized 1,500-2,500 images

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

(Pixabay)
All dance studios, other indoor group fitness facilities must close amid updated COVID-19 rules

Prior announcement had said everything except spin, HIIT and hot yoga could remain open

Most Read