Pictured: The Anderson family’s 2013 holiday card.
Three years ago, Jayden was so shy that when he heard that his new “Big Couple” were coming over to meet him for the first time, he tried to hide behind the couch. Now, the 10-year-old laughs to remember that he was nervous about meeting Mark and Leigh Anderson, who have made him feel like a part of the family ever since. “They’re so nice, to me and everybody else. They’re not scary at all,” he giggles.
With two full-time jobs, two growing sons and four hectic schedules to manage, you might think the Andersons would be too busy to mentor. But both as both Mark and Leigh will tell you, Jayden brings so much laughter and joy into their lives, they can’t imagine life without him.
The Andersons’ two sons have even gotten involved, inviting Jayden to sit on the team bench at basketball games and teaching him to ice skate and play ‘knee hockey.’ “It’s good for the boys to have someone around who looks up to them,” says Leigh. “They love Jayden like a younger brother, and he’s teaching them how to be good role models.”
The whole family agrees that it feels good to do good, and they encourage all their friends to get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters too. “It’s such a great thing to give someone who really appreciates it that kind of support,” says Mark.