Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands wants to unite alumni to show how the program has grown.
Old photographs remind Jon Hansen of back in the day, just graduating from college, wanting to get involved in the community, wanting to give back. "Big Brothers seemed like a great opportunity to invest in someone else like people had invested in me along the way."
Jon now uses technology to stay in touch with his “little brother” John Green, now grown up and living in Colorado. Jon met John when John was 7 years old. “Meeting Jon was probably the most remarkable experience. You want to talk about a guy who touched my life, it's Jon."
Twenty years later the two are still friends, a part of each other's families, still in touch, still remembering how each one helped the other grow. "The reward has been both ways, especially for me watching him grow up into a young man and starting a family, get married and go through college,” said Hansen.
“The thing I always look back on and think about is I've always wondered how successful they are as far as match-ups. Obviously, they knocked it out of the park with the two of us." Big Jon and little John are a Big Brothers home run.
Hansen has a daughter who is carrying on the Big Brothers Big Sisters tradition. Anna Hansen works for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands. She is a match support specialist in Omaha and her father's experience as a big brother helped her to make this career decision.
"I just saw growing up not only the impact that my dad had on little Jon's life, but what impact little Jon had on my dad's life and us growing up with my dad being a mentor for our family and for other people was a real cool thing."
Last year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands served more than 800 children.