Ten-year-old David had been suffering from depression since his parents’ divorce a year ago. He had withdrawn from his friends and his teachers noticed a decline in his schoolwork and attendance due to “bad stomach aches.”
Concerned about their son, his parents called the Jewish Big Brother Big Brother Sister program (JBBBSA) of Bellefaire JCB and soon David was matched with Jack, a 25-year-old volunteer who chose to mentor a child because his own father passed away when he was young. David and Jack’s favorite match activity is going to the Mandel Jewish Community Center to play basketball and eat Subway. They also like to go hiking; attend Cleveland Indians games; eat pizza and talk about their weeks. One of their favorite annual events is attending the Bowl for Kids’ Sake event with other Bigs and Littles.
Today, a little more than two years after David and Jack were first matched, David is thriving in school again. His grades are all up, especially in his favorite subject math, in which Jack tutors him. David is laughing and hanging out with his friends – a much larger group than before. David tried out and made the baseball team, and Jack goes to all the home games.
Two months ago, Jack was married and David attended the wedding and danced with the bride. Best of all, David’s relationship with his father, strained since the divorce, is better than ever. David’s anger and sorrow are better managed, and the two talk and love easily again. David’s father credits Jack’s influence, thankful that his son has a caring adult mentor who cares about him. Jack shrugs off the praise, saying that he simply hangs out with David and listens to him. Either way, both David and Jack say they plan to be friends for life.