(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – Mike and Jimmy have been matched in the Community Based Big Brothers Big Sisters Program for three years.
Together the two of them have built a strong relationship with the help of some ice cream. If the two of them are together, ice cream isn’t far away! Mike is at an age where he isn’t able to participate in physical activities anymore and Jimmy is blind, which inhibits his ability to participate in many physical activities.
Jimmy became involved with the program after his mother reached out to BBBS. “We are older parents; his siblings are 53, 51, would have been 34 (now deceased), and 31-years-old,” explained Cynthia, Jimmy’s mom. “After James’ dad started experiencing health issues we contacted BBBS. We went through the process and lots of paperwork and was told of a potential match for James.”
Mike is retired and reached a point where he didn’t enjoy leaving the house. “BBBS matched me with a perfect young man, Jimmy. We always end our outings with some ice cream, which we both enjoy…who doesn’t like ice cream?”
Mike learned about the program from his daughter. “She told me about looking into the BBBS program in Tuscarawas County. I told her it was something that I would be interested in also,” explained Mike. “Being able to be a positive influence in a young person’s life is a great way to give back to the community.”
The two of them created a quick bond and soon discovered a mutual love of comedy and movies. The match was quickly made! Mike and Jimmy hit it off right away as they joked together at their very first match meeting.
“I felt such a relief as James has had issues in the past and I knew that if anyone was going to be a great help to James – Mike was going to be it,” added Cynthia.
Mike works hard to encourage Jimmy to think about the future and avoid risky behaviors. And his dedication to Jimmy continues to pay off. Most recently, Jimmy has been accepted into college!
“My big brother, Mike, I really really love him,” explained Jimmy. “He’s like an actual brother to me and I’m really glad he’s my big brother. Mike is really kind, and he cares for everyone. He wants to do what is right even if no one is watching him.”
“I can truly say that Mike and James, as goofy as they are, are indeed a perfect match,” Cynthia added.
More information about the Big Brothers Big Sisters program can be found here.