Our Stories

Meet Anish & Xavier and Taylor & Hazel

This month we have a double match feature from Douglas County: Bigs, Taylor & Anish, and Littles, Hazel & Xavier! Taylor and Anish not only serve as Bigs, but also on Douglas' Community Leadership Council and happen to be engaged! 

Taylor matched with Little Sister Hazel in June 2020, while Anish and Little Brother Xavier just celebrated their one year match anniversary in April. 

Read more about each of their matches below!


Anish & Xavier

How long have you been matched?
Anish: Just over a year; our anniversary was last month!

What has been your favorite outing together?
Xavier: We read books and play legos at the library.
Anish: I would also say the library because it’s fun and educational. But, I also really enjoy rock climbing together!

How often do you guys meet?
Anish: Every 2 weeks

What were you nervous about when you first met your Big?
Xavier: Nothing!
Anish: Right off the bat, he was very outgoing which made it easy for me! He’s really into sports and loves being active, as am I, so it really was just a easy match. My nervesouness went away pretty quick.

What’s your favorite sport?
Xavier: Soccer

Have you guys played soccer together?
Anish: Yeah! We’ve gone to Rock Chalk Park a lot and played soccer and basketball.

Anish, do you have a favorite sport?
Anish: Mine is probably golf.. That’s actually something I want to do with Xavier. 
Xavier: I want to do that the next time we see each other. Then, the next time we can go fishing and I’m going to teach him how to fish! 

What’s one thing you have learned from your Little?
Anish: I would say he has taught me the importance of doing spuratic and random things with these young kids and making memories with them. It’s just fun to pick something random on a whim, that I may not do on an average day. Whether that’s going rock climbing or if he just wants to go read. He’ll remember it and talk about it… and that’s rewarding, at the same time. 

What’s the next random thing you want to do together?
Xavier: Belly flop into a pool maybe. Or, if we go to Rock Chalk Park! 

What is your favorite thing about your Big? 
Xavier: That he does nothing like I do. I like that we’re different.

What is your favorite thing about your Little?
Anish: His energy level… he never stops! Which is a good thing right?

What would you tell a potential Big who is considering volunteering?
Anish: I would say just to do it. It's rewarding and beneficial. I think anyone who has spent just one day with a Little understands the impact and what it’s worth. So I’d tell them… Just do it!

Are you happy you have a Big Brother and why?
Xavier: Yeah, cause he’s fun!

Xavier, what are you gonna do when you grow up?
Xavier: I’m going to play in the NFL for the Chiefs!

What advice would you tell someone about going into the program? 
Anish: Experience different things. Keep an open mind. Creating those memories for them is so important.

What's the biggest change you have seen in your Little since you first met him?
Anish: He’s definitely a better reader. That was one of his mom’s goals for him and I’ve really seen that improve. For example, when we go to the library, he’s picking up harder books now. It’s been really good to see. 

How has being a big impacted your life?
Anish: It's made every other Tuesday night very exciting. It’s also just very rewarding. I really enjoy it.

Taylor & Hazel

What year did you get matched?
Taylor: June 2020 

What were you nervous about meeting your Big?
Hazel: I was afraid she was going to leave. But, I'm so happy she never left!

What was your first impression of each other?
Hazel: I was a little nervous because I hadn’t met anyone that nice before. But, once I got to know her, I found out that she actually was just really really nice. 
Taylor: I think she was a little nervous at the start. But, she definitely opened up as we kept meeting!

What do you guys like to do together?
Hazel: We’ve hung out at a lot of different parks and we’ve golfed together, which was my first time golfing and it was actually really fun!

Taylor, what is something you’ve learned from your Little?
Taylor: Whenever she meets new people she is always so inviting and makes them feel welcome. I think that’s a really important attitude to bring to the table.

Did you have any reservations about joining the program?
Taylor: Absolutely not. It’s always been really important for me to work with youth in some capacity, and wasn’t able to do that within my career. So, I thought this was the perfect opportunity for that. I’ve obviously just really gotten involved with the program.

Hazel, What do you want be when you grow up?
Hazel: I want to be a Big!! I also want to have a job making jewelry or maybe being a veterinarian when I’m older.

Taylor, how has being Hazel’s Big impacted your life?
Taylor: I’ve been able to see the world through someone else’s eyes! It's been really cool to see the curiosity she has, and how excited she is to just experience life. I think that’s important as you get older.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in your Little?
Taylor: I'd say the way she communicates. I think she now knows what she wants and is learning that she can speak up for herself because she has now has a place where she can talk about anything.

What would you tell someone who just started the program? 
Taylor: Everything doesn’t have to be super thought out or planned. I think sometimes it’s more impactful to just do life together. Even if it’s just going to the grocery store!

What would you tell someone who wants to be a Big?
Taylor: The main hesitation is the time. Consistency is key. Even if you can only squeeze in 30 minutes, 30 minutes is better than nothing. This will open your eyes.

Become a Big like Anish and Taylor: kansasbigs.org/be-a-big.