LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) - — Laura Hatfield became a volunteer for Big Brother Big Sisters of the Bluegrass in 2018.
Her “Little” Elizabeth recently celebrated her eighth birthday, but couldn’t have a birthday party because of the coronavirus. When Hatfield showed up outside her house to drop off presents, she said Elizabeth ran to hug her and she had to stop her.
“It felt so counter to me and to all of us. We’re people who want to hug and embrace,” said Hatfield. “So we gave each other a huge social distance hug.”
Hatfield and Elizabeth mostly talk on the phone lately. Before the national pandemic, Hatfield said they would eat pancakes together every week.
“I’ve never had so many pancakes in all my years of living,” said Hatfield. “But it's made us, I think, get closer because we talk on the phone. I think I have been able to learn more about what a day in the life of Elizabeth looks like.”
BBBS President Andrea Ooten explained their volunteers are primarily maintaining contact with their little brothers and sisters through calls.
“We are hopeful that you know through our relationships with our bigs, they are able to get some sense of normalcy,” said Ooten.
The agency is continuously looking for new activities to organize online so everyone can stay connected.
“We're now trying to figure out some ways to keep them connected virtually as a group. So looking at you know trying to do some little games, through Google Hangouts or zoom and that sort of thing,” said Ooten.
BBBS hosted a trivia night on Tuesday. It’s part of their Power of Positive Relationships Fundraising Campaign, which is helping raise money for the organization since COVID-19 forced them to postpone several events and fundraisers.
Ooten said the campaign also serves to remind people the value of making a connection with others.
BBBS continues to accept applications for new volunteers. If you’re interested in learning more about how to make an impact on a child’s life, you can go here.