May 23, 2022

Joe Meyer & Daniel

Hi, everyone. My name is Joe, and I have been Daniel’s Big Brother for five years. Daniel and I first met when he was in elementary school, and we would see each other during his lunches once a week. When Daniel was heading into middle school, we decided we wanted to start seeing each other in the community and switched our match to community based.

After retiring from coaching kids’ gymnastics for 25 years, I really missed being with kids every day, and I knew I would gain so much from being a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Daniel told me that he joined the program because he didn’t have any friends in elementary school and was being bullied. Daniel’s mom noticed that he was struggling and suggested that he needed someone to be able to talk to. Daniel agreed, and we were matched.

Daniel and I have a lot of great memories together, but watching him catch his first fish stands out to me as a great moment. That was one big smile on his face! We have done a lot of different things in our time together: museums, Smart Cow, mini golfing, fishing, farmer’s markets, playing board games, playing cards, and playing pool. I asked Daniel if there is a certain memory that stands out, and he said, “Not really because every time is memorable.” That said, he is hoping that one day in the future we can go see the Northern Lights. One of the staples of our time together has been playing pool. Daniel claims that he is learning how to be a pool shark from me, and he can’t wait for the day that we face off for 1st place at a pool tournament!

As I thought I would, I have gained so much from being a Big. I have enjoyed watching Daniel grow from being a very quiet, shy 9 year old kid to a 15 year old teenager full of energy and exploring the world. Since I do not have children of my own, spending consistent time with Daniel has filled a big gap in my life, and I feel like I get as much out of this as he does. In five years, Daniel said that he sees endless possibilities and us continuing to explore… and him having to help me up every hill!

To anyone considering being a Big, I would say, what are you waiting for? Joy, love, and adventure are waiting here for you!