Worth The Wait: Big Brothers Match Up Makes Forever Friends


TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Two hundred kids are currently on the Big Brothers Big Sisters waiting list in the area, hoping someone will choose them.

Blake was one of those kids wishing for a big brother for the longest time, and now that he's had one, it made all the difference for the both of them.

"He'd be like, when am I ever going to get a big brother, nobody wants me. It affected his self-esteem when he was waiting for so long. But oh my gosh, it was so worth the wait," Roxanna Caudill said about her 13-year-old son Blake.

He was finally paired up with his big brother Jeff Alderman about a year ago, and it turns out it was a better match than they hoped for.

Jeff says Blake reminds him of himself as a 13-year-old.

"Really I think the wit - I think he's a thinker, his mind is always churning and so we have a lot in common with that. Our conversations are based on who knows more than the other person. Sometimes we have had to go to Google to verify facts."

Blake thinks of Jeff as sort of a father-figure.

"He's able to actually teach me things that I haven't been able to do and he's going to plan on teaching me how to ride a bike."

Roxanna has nothing but good words to say about Jeff being in her son's life and sees the positive difference he has made over the past year.

"He challenges him. And that's kind of hard to do!"

Jeff and Blake spend a lot of time together, going to sporting events, hanging out at the library researching statistics and science, but their favorite thing to do is go fishing.

"I just like enjoying the time, having somebody that actually listens, instead of fighting with my other two brothers."

The most important thing for Roxanna as a mother is seeing that her son has consistency in his life, something that Jeff is able to give.

"I think it really gives Blake stability, gives him the security, gives him the aspirations that, this is who I can be. If he grew up to be like Jeff, that wouldn't be a bad thing."

Throughout their packed and eventful schedule, they've formed a comfortable bond.

"We're able to say things to each other that just come right out our mouth without even thinking," Jeff said, "And I think that's the type of relationship that you want to have. That's something that spurs us on to more discussions and that's a big part of our relationship."

Jeff has three older kids who are out of the house, but still felt a parental instinct, and wanted to make a difference in a kid's life.

"I'm in this forever, we're forever friends, and I look forward to seeing him grow and mature, seeing him follow his dreams, very similar to what I've done and my children have done."

Blake says he looks forward to going sailboating with Jeff in the future and wants him to teach him anything about chemistry.

"It's pretty great actually," Blake said. "He's actually, in my words, he's one of my best friends."

There could be a kid out there who is just like you, and you can make a difference, just like Blake and Jeff.

Call Big Brothers Big Sisters to find out how you can help at (785) 234-5524.


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