Big Sister Surprise

November 23, 2020, Lori Dossett

Our Match Coordinators take great pride in matching Bigs and Littles to create rewarding and long-lasting relationships. They get to know both parties so they can create a match based on interests, personalities, and values.

Sometimes a match is created that appears predestined, like in the case of Big Sister Malissa and Little Sister Avalyn. Here’s the heartwarming story about how the two of them came to be matched.

Big Sister Malissa’s mom is a teacher at the elementary school where soon-to-be Little Sister Avalyn attends. Last spring, Malissa went to the school to say “hello” to her former second grade teacher. That teacher, Mrs. Dickinson, happened to be subbing in Avalyn’s classroom that day. 

Mrs. Dickinson explained to her students that Malissa was a student in her class many years ago. Avalyn piped up to ask, “Mrs. Dickson, are you 100 years old, because she [Malissa] must be 40 years old?” By the way, Malissa was still in grad school at the time.

Malissa chatted with Avalyn for a while and they immediately established a connection. In fact, Avalyn asked Malissa to be her best friend. Clearly, Avalyn recognized that Malissa was a caring adult who was showing her some much-needed compassion. 

At the time, Avalyn and her family were struggling with several challenges. Avalyn and her sister were not getting along, the family’s entire house was flooded, and Avalyn was not receiving enough attention due to all the competing stressors going on at home. 

Knowing that Avalyn was struggling, Malissa’s mom started checking in regularly with Avalyn’s mom, Miranda. During one of these check-ins, Miranda mentioned that she planned to register Avalyn for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Coincidentally (and unbeknownst to Miranda), Malissa had recently applied to be a Big Sister but was holding off on getting matched until she was finished with grad school. 

Malissa’s volleyball season ended up being cancelled due to the pandemic, so she found herself with a lot more free time. She contacted her match coordinator at Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities to get the process going to become a Little Sister. Guess who she was matched with? Avalyn!

Mom and Big Sister decided they would surprise Avalyn at the virtual match introduction meeting. Avalyn knew she was being matched with a Big Sister, but did not know it was Malissa. The reaction on Avalyn’s face when the two met for the first time was priceless! 

Malissa and Avalyn’s relationship has continued to grow and strengthen. Mom is so grateful that her daughter has been matched with such a caring young woman. “This is a great blessing for her during these trying times,” said mom. “Avalyn can never have enough things to share.”