Pictured L to R: Paige, Cassandra (Cassie) Biertzer

Did you ever wonder what you could do to make a difference in the life of a child? How much time or energy it would take and what the reward might be?

Just ask ‘Big Sister’ Cassandra (Cassie) Biertzer who was just awarded Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of FDL County ‘Big’ of the Year. She got much more than she bargained for since being matched with ‘Little Sister’ Paige in 2014.

“Paige & I have been matched for a little over 2 years now,” said Cassie. “I can definitely say it’s one of the best things that have happened in my life. Together we have gone through some hard times, in both of our lives. We can confide in each other and really relate to each other. Paige comes to all of our family events; it wouldn’t be the same without her!”

“This match is a BIG success story,” said Jennifer Smith, Senior Community Based Coordinator for BBBS. “It’s amazing to see the change and growth in Paige since the beginning of her match. With the help of her Big Sister, Paige has overcome many personal issues in her life. She has not only improved her self-esteem, but her health as well just by being matched, said Smith. But, Paige isn’t the only one that has won. “Speaking with Cassie, it’s wonderful to hear how she had grown closer to Paige due to a change in her own personal life. Cassie feels that channeling her time and effort toward Paige helped her get through it.”

“Cassie has gone beyond the call of duty for her Little,” said Smith. “In the past two years, they’ve done many fun and unique activities, including: sailing, the Little Farmer, and enjoyed Christmas gatherings, Packer games, a trip to St. Louis and family picnics together. Cassie has even added Paige to her family’s family picture, which is overwhelming to see. I personally believe that after almost 9 years with Big Brothers Big Sisters, this match may be one of my biggest success stories.”

BBBS assists children with social, emotional and character development through one-to-one mentoring relationships with caring adults. Children in the program come from a wide variety of backgrounds, many coming from single parent households, living at or below poverty level. BBBS matches children with a Big Brother, Sister, Couple or Family in a community or school based program. Children aged 6 through 13 can enroll in the program through a parent or guardian referral. Volunteers need to be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license for the community-based program, 16 years old for the school-based program. For more information about the program or to volunteer, call 920-922-8200.