Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Triangle maintains connections online

Every spring, Big Brothers Big Sisters hosts a bowl for kids raising around$75,000 but because of COVID-19 they had to switch to a virtual stroll.

"We are still supporting these life changing, mentoring matches," said Erin Callahan. "We want to start making more matches and get some of these kids off the wait list. It's just an opportunity then to take care of ourselves, go for a walk, be outside."

Erin Callahan has been CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Triangle and says it's been nice to see the creativity from bigs and littles as they navigate through virtual connections but that it can have a strain on those relationships.

"The in person is what we strive to do," she said. "It's that one-to-one connection. Just giving those kids that one person to pay attention to them all the time and have that just that one person for them. So now that we're not able to be in person. It's really changed the communication of our bigs and littles."

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"It's just really hard," said big sister, Kelley Gullo. "I think, to have a virtual conversation for more than two hours, or for more than an hour really is is typically what it's been which, which I think we've, we've, I felt connected. But it's definitely different."

Kelley and her little Sarah were matched 5 years ago and understand the importance of maintaining that connection because they say it's been such an important part of their lives.

"It's just the brightest part of my week most of the time, the two hours we get to spend together," Gullo said. "It's been really wonderful to see her grow up and have that connection. It's nothing like I've ever experienced."

"It's given me a chance to get out and do things," Sarah said. "I've never had many people to go to escape rooms, or Durham Bulls games."

Big Brother Big Sisters is hoping to start making virtual matches to continue changing how children grow up.

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