Keith Edelman, our 2015 Big Brother of the Year, is a resident of Toms River and a manager of a dental office. Keith joined BBBSOC in 2008 and he has been a mentor ever since. He was matched with his first Little, Brenden, for three years and now mentors Anthony, which whom he has been matched for almost five years. You can find Keith and Anthony hanging out and talking or engaging in friendly competition, whether it's bowling, arcade games or ice skating. They are quite the team and they enrich each other's lives.
My Big taught me how to ice skate…He’s always there for me! My Big Brother is the BEST!
Bob wanted to volunteer to be a mentor because he felt he had something to give and wanted to make it meaningful to someone. He decided that helping a child who does not have a role model in their life was the way to go. He wanted to help a child by providing guidance and moral support. He did just that with EJ who he was matched with in 2011. The two have been a great pair for the past 5 years. Bob helped EJ realize what is important in life. He has helped EJ understand the importance of school and how it will help him when he goes out in the work world. He has guided and supported EJ’s interest and helped him pursue them for his future. EJ has grown to trust, respect and look up Bob and feels that Bob really helped him turn his life around. These two have an amazing friendship!
I don’t know where I would be today if it wasn’t for my Big! He has taught me lessons that I will use for the rest of my life!
Molly became involved with BBBSOC because she wanted to offer a child a good stable relationship and give them someone they could talk to and be comfortable with. Molly was matched with her Little Sister Erika in 2010 and they have been best friends for 6 years. Molly has made a difference in Erika’s life by being a special person that Erika can rely on, lean on and go to for support and fun. Erika feels that Molly not only makes her feel special but has been the best friend she could have. These two are forever friends! Molly was Big Sister of the year 2014.
My Big Sister is my best friend! She is stuck with me for life!
Riley’s Big Brother is a young college student who is years ahead of others his age in his desire to make a difference in a child’s life and intends to stay with Riley to guide and support him for many years to come.
Riley and Conner hit it off right away. One of the first things Riley wanted to do was learn to ride a bike. On one of their first outings after they were matched, that is what they did! Conner got his old bike out took Riley to a park and taught him how to ride a bike. That was so important for Riley. It was not just learning to ride the bike that was important, it was trusting his Big Brother to not let him fall. Riley has been putting his trust in Connor for the past 3 years and Connor has supported Riley through some tough times. Riley considers Connor to be like his real brother! Riley and Connor are Big Hockey fans of the NJ Devils and because their relationships is so awesome they were honored at one of the NJ Devils games this year (2016)!
My Big brother and I are like real brothers. We have gone snowboarding, hockey games, ice skating, and he has taught me so many things!
Caitlyn and Heather share an interest in outdoor activities, including hiking and soccer, Caitlyn especially likes when her Big Sister attends her soccer games, she loves her Big Sister supporting her and cheering her on and it makes her feel really special.
Caitlyn and Heather enjoy participating in Big Brothers Big Sisters activities as often as they can. They have participated in Lemonade Day Toms River where they set up a lemonade stand and sold lemonade and cookies. They had a great time working together on decorating their stand and were very proud of their Lemonade Stand and team work! They love attending the Halloween party and their costumes are always very creative! But watch out when these two play mini golf…completive with the utmost fun and laughter to be had! Caitlin and Heather also enjoy some relaxing time where they can just hang out and talk or watch movies. These moments have built a friendship that is close and valuable!
My Big Sister is really easy to talk to and she always supports me.
Tom and Jayden have been matched for just over a year, and have been inseparable ever since meeting! The pair hit it off as soon as Tom stepped up to the plate to be Jayden’s Big Brother. Jayden is a happy, outgoing child, who greatly needed a male figure in his life to help guide him and support him. Now that Jayden has Tom, Jayden has someone who attends his football games, helps him with homework for school, and spends time with him during the holidays. Jayden’s mother realized that Jayden has much potential, and Tom is helping Jayden to reach his potential as he grows through different stages of life. In the words of Tom, “Jayden is my best buddy!”
My Big and I have so much fun. I’m so happy I have Tom for my Big Brother!
Mary and Delyla were successfully matched 2 years ago, and have been a great match ever since. The two like to have fun by going to local fairs, making arts and crafts together, and going to the movies. Despite the struggles Delyla has faced in her life, Mary has been able to provide Delyla with a support system to help her surpass any other challenges she may face, and come out stronger than ever. Mary and Delyla have a mutual respect for one another and they genuinely enjoy each other’s company. As Delyla says in regards to Mary, “she’s fun and she makes me laugh!”
My Big is fun and makes me laugh!
Caroline believes that mentoring is a mutual learning experience and companionship with each other. Caroline has been a Big Sister to Nadia since 2011. Her energy, patience and fun loving ways have created many opportunities for Nadia. Caroline and Nadia have gone shopping, baked cookies, boardwalk, arts and crafts, movies and out for ice cream. Their fun and the activities are endless, these two are never at a loss for what to do. But the two of them cherish the quiet moments of talking about each other’s day. Due to Caroline’s patience and understanding, Nadia has blossomed into a friendly and caring young lady. She continues to grow and develop in academically and socially. As Nadia says “We are BFF’s, Best Friends Forever!”
We just love each other and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ocean County!
This match has been together since 2008. Over the years Kelly has watched her Little Sister grow from a little girl into an amazing young woman. Kristen and Kelly are so important to each other that they share and participate in each and every special event and milestone of each other’s lives, such as Kristen was a part of Kelly’s wedding and Kelly was there for Kristen’s school functions and proms. They often attend agency sponsored events as well as doing activities on their own. They have seen Broadway shows, participated in a reality TV program, received makeovers, and Kristen went with Kelly and her family on the Disney Cruise! Kelly and Kristen have developed a special bond as Big Sister Little Sister. Kristin knows she has someone to talk to and count on, always. The life time connection these two have touches your heart and warms your soul, appreciating the value a friendship can bring!
My Big sister and I have a great relationship, we are family! I love that my Big Sister cares so much about other people. I’m very lucky that she is a part of my life.
Lea knows she has a special friend in Cheryl. Since 2011, Cheryl has been someone who has been there to guide, influence, praise, inspire and encourage Lea. Cheryl has supported Lea in school, family, and her future dreams. Teaching her to believe in herself. When they get together they spend a lot of time talking, smiling and laughing, truly enjoying the time they spend together. Cheryl is very important and influential to Lea that she honored Cheryl at her Quinceañera party. As Lea gets older Cheryl knows they will continue to be friends and continue to be a part of each other’s lives.
My Big Sister is really nice. We talk a lot and it is always fun when we get together.
Geoff and Lucas met at a BBBSOC softball game, they were matched in 2009 and as everyone always comments “they are two peas in a pod”. They try to get together as often as they can and when they can’t get together they talk on the phone or text message each other. They also message each other through a chess game they play against each other online. Whatever Geoff and Lucas do they have fun! Although they have a ridiculous amount of fun together, it is not all fun and games. Geoff has been teaching Lucas how to drive, do maintenance on cars, banking and saving money, and many other simply life skills that a young man needs to learn. He recently has been helping him enroll at Ocean County College. Geoff and Lucas are as close as real brothers, their relationship is amazing and care for one another genuine.
We are two peas in a pod! We love to joke around! I love to hang with my Big Brother, we are great friends!