The Impact of a Big – Meet Kristin & Elisabeth

Kristin and Elisabeth were matched in 2017. A shy 9-year-old at the time, Elisabeth took some time to open up to her new Big Sister, but the two introverts slowly bonded over craft projects, movie dates and window shopping. Now by the time their visits are over, Elisabeth is laughing, asking questions, and throwing out ideas about what they should do next. Board games like Mancala and art projects like the ones offered by our partner Bridgewire Makerspace are their go-to; in fact, Kristin now keeps an “emergency slime” bag ready to go for their meet-ups! Kristin sneaks in new experiences, like the art museum, walks, or a new type of restaurant, as often as she can get away with, and was finding Elisabeth to be more open to them before COVID-19 hit. One of their favorite memories together is of picking out outfits for each other to try on at Forever 21 – and they love to try out a “twinsies” outfit now and then too.

Throughout the shut-downs and quarantines of the past year, Kristin and Elisabeth kept in touch via texts, FaceTime, and some socially distanced drop bys. Kristin even sent Elisabeth some treats in the mail while they couldn’t meet face to face. Elisabeth, like many kids, is less open on the phone than in person, and both were excited to have a few outdoor, masked meetings before our statewide “pause” in November. Their interactions have been more meaningful than ever to Elisabeth, who is currently back in school but had several periods of distance learning to handle in 2020. The absence of her friends and face to face contact with teachers made her assignments harder, she said.

As a tradition, Kristin puts together a Shutterfly “yearbook” of herself and her Little Sister to present to Elisabeth at their match anniversary each December. Neither were expecting 2020’s to include quite so many masked photos, but they are grateful to have each other to talk to throughout the changes. They have recently restarted a regular weekly meeting schedule, and Kristin is excited to help support Elisabeth through the more “normal” challenges of middle school!

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