One day last Fall, Jennie Newton, an Enrollment Facilitator with BGCBigs, was looking through Little Brothers, trying to find a match for a Big Brother who had just applied. Maybe it was luck, maybe it was fate, when she came across Zane’s file. With his 18th birthday just around the corner, Zane was about to age out of BGCBigs programs. He lived in foster care, was in a wheelchair, and had been waiting for a Big Brother for 6 years. Moved by the resiliency of this young man, Jennie made it her mission to find him a match before he turned 18.
Around the same time, Ryan had just got back to Canada from a three week mission to Bolivia. He left on the trip shortly after he lost contact with his Little Brother. After years of wanting to volunteer but not having the time, Ryan was incredibly disappointed when his first match fizzled out so quickly.
Who knows what would have happened if Jennie hadn’t stumbled across Zane’s file that day, or if Ryan had been re-matched immediately instead of traveling to Bolivia. What we do know, is that Zane and Ryan, in less than 6 months, have developed an incredible, lasting friendship.
“When they called to tell me about Zane and his story to see if I would be interested, my heart broke,” Ryan explains. He couldn’t understand how such an awesome young man had been waiting for a Big for so long. “I picked my heart back up, put it back together, and said ‘of course’.”
Zane tells us that he was thrilled to get the phone call. “I signed up so long ago I guess I forgot about it until they called. But they told me he was a Christian, liked going to church, and had been praying for another Little Brother. I was pretty stoked. It turned out we both got our wish.”
With fairly low expectations for the match, Zane says that he really just wanted someone to hang out with. “I wanted someone who would be a friend, mentor, literally a brother. Someone to talk to and trust. Someone to push me to go out and do things when I’m feeling lazy. Ryan is awesome for all of that.”