WTAJ’s Carolyn Donaldson shares her special friendship with her Little Sister


Big Brothers/ Big Sisters of Blair County is in it’s 50th year of mentoring at risk kids.

From making and flying paper airplanes to just hanging out together, research shows a positive mentoring relationship can make a big difference in the lives of these kids. At WTAJ News,  we featured unmatched littles each week on our broadcasts in our “Monday’s Child” segments.

Executive Director Gail Clapper says it helped spread the message of mentoring.
“Monday’s Child segment was wonderful.  It really brought awareness to the Littles that we had in the program and Carolyn – the time she took with the kids and her concern for them, interest in them.”

13  years ago, WTAJ’s Carolyn Donaldson went through the process of becoming a Big Sister.  After training and background checks, she was matched with Shaina and they’ve been a pair ever since.

As Donaldson tells it,
We met at a favorite of both of ours – Mama Randazzo’s.  It used to be the 2 of us.  Now Shaina’s son Zayden joins us!

Mama greeted us and made us feel right at home.  We were paired when Shaina was 11 and right from the start I knew it was something special – a win/win I call it…And so did Shaina.

“You’re not family – so you never had an obligation – it was always a genuine want to be there for me.— for me and my son.”

It wasn’t about what we did, the places we went, it’s just being present for each other.

“It was an outlet away from family -someone who was there just for me – that I could talk to.  It was nice to have someone who didn’t have an opinion or biased opinion towards me or my family because you were there to be there for us, ” as Shaina recalls.

“13 years later , and even like as an adult and graduating and going ot college twice and having a child and my own family and your grandchildren, it’s like an extended family, we’ve both gained so much more than just each other from it,” Shaina adds.

Think about making a difference in a young person’s life.  It will change yours too, for the better.

To learn more about the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program in your area, head here.


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