At Big Brothers Big Sisters, we believe every child should have the opportunity to reach his or her full potential – both as individuals and citizens. We believe that by changing the course of young lives we can in turn be changing the course of a community’s future.
Start Talking is a place where we want to raise awareness of key issues that face today’s youth. We will sometimes advocate, sometimes educate, sometimes inform, sometimes ask questions and always invite discussion about the pressing concerns that involve the younger generations of today.

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Boy and a Man — Over Forty Years of Lasting Friendship

I have been lucky enough to know Omer Jerry Foisy for over forty years, and for that I would like to thank the Big Brothers organization.

Jerry and I have had many adventures over the years that I would not have experienced without him in my life. Over time, our families have intertwined to the point where my mother always considered Jerry her fifth child and his family was our family. We have shared births, deaths, first communions, graduations, marriages, and milestone anniversaries, among many other events in both of our lives. I have such respect and admiration for Jerry that I chose him to be the godfather of my son, Steve.

From the beginning, Jerry has always shown me the importance of faith, friendship, and family and the value of volunteering, all of which are very important to me today.

If I had not met Jerry Foisy, I don’t know how my life would be different, but I know it is better as a result of him always being there for me. We can go long periods of time without talking or seeing one another, but when we get together, it’s like we have never been apart.

I didn’t have a choice when Jerry showed up on our doorstep in 1969, but I know there was no better Big Brother for me.

Although I have never said it out loud, Jerry, I want to say I love you, and I thank you for being such a positive influence in my life.

by Jim Clendenning

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Special Adventure

For several weeks, while driving to work each day, I would pass a great big sign that read “EDDIE BAUER TENT SALE 70% OFF! Saturday, October 19th” and It just so happened that I did need a new tent (or two!) for camping. What a deal, and perfect timing too!

As a special adventure, my Little Brothers Matthew and Danny and I got up very early that Saturday morning, not wanting to miss getting the best tents. I knew that with prices like that, they would go fast. This was going to be a great lesson to the boys about the power of observation skills, patience, and frugality.

We got to the store before 8 A.M. There was a huge outdoor display being set up with signs and banners… staff were working under a great, big canopy over a large part of the parking lot, moving boxes around… We patiently waited until the appointed opening time, and then bolted into the store. I breathlessly cornered the first salesperson and asked “Which way to your tents?!” There was a strange pause that I attributed to the early hour and a lack of caffeine, but the eventual answer was something like “…Um, it’s out in the parking lot…”

Great! We ran over to the big canopy (some may refer to these things as “tents” by the way), and I asked the salesperson, excitedly, where the tents were. I had to repeat my question, and after a semi-glazed look and a “pardon?”, I repeated my question again. I mentioned the sign about the tents advertised on the road-side sign for the past few weeks. With some cautious trepidation, the salesperson indicated upward and said “Um, sir, we don’t have any tents. We only have clothes for sale… …in this tent…” There was a long and awkward pause as I processed this.

“Um, oh… I ah see. It’s a sale in a tent… Right. Um. Thank you…”

Back at the car, the boys were beside themselves laughing at me and making fun of this whole scene. They saw it all play out.
“But Eddie Bauer really does make tents! I saw them online!” I insisted.
Apparently, those tents were only sold in the USA.

We went and had enormous consolation breakfast instead, and I sulked in my maple syrop.

The “boys”, who are now 20 and 24 years old respectively, still like to ask me if I know of any good upcoming tent sales.

Joel Porter
Big Brother