MATCH SPOTLIGHT: Lisa and Emma’s Match Closure
Usually when we post on social media, we post about the super fun match introductions or exciting updates about what our matches are doing together. We don’t often talk about one of the most important parts of the match. Closure.
At some point, every match comes to a close. Whether a child has graduated out of the program, someone had a life change, or a match feels like they no longer need the support to keep their friendship going. HOW the match chooses to close can leave a lasting impact on how a child perceives the entirety of their match experience.
Lisa N. executed a near perfect match closure. Once she realized that she would be
moving, she called to talk things over with her Case Manager. Lisa already knew the importance of telling her Little Sister Emily about the closure, about the NEED for her Little to have an opportunity to say goodbye, but she also wanted to be prepared to offer other community supports that would help carry Emily through her high school years. She floated some neat ideas about how to make their last in-person match activity special for Emily, and she talked over ways that she planned to commemorate their time together.
Closure can be a hard thing, and Lisa shared with her Case Manager that she felt sad about ending her match. Her main focus was helping Emily feel valued and important. When the day arrived, she presented Emily with an AMAZING cake that featured their very first picture together, and she brought out that “All About Me” worksheet from DAY #1! That reinforced that their match, and Emily, were IMPORTANT to her. So much so, that Lisa still had these things 2 years after their introduction. Lastly, she wrote a lovely letter to Emily, sharing how much she enjoyed their time together and the good things she sees in Emily. That’s something that Emily can keep and re-read when she’s feeling sad or upset.
So let’s take a look at what Lisa got right.
1. She called and talked to her case manager as soon as she knew she needed to close the match.
2. She gathered other resources that she thought her Little may want or could use.
3. She put her own feelings of sadness on hold to help her Little through the closure process.
4. She showed up. In person. And she made sure her Little heard the news from her.
5. She showed appreciation for their time together.
6. She let Emily know WHY she was such an amazing kid.
7. She reinforced that she would still be around to talk to Emily and that Emily was important to her.
8. She made sure Emily had something personal to remember their time together.
9. She personalized the closure with things from their time together, a first picture and a first worksheet.
10. She celebrated their time together and made their closure fun.
Yep, Lisa nailed it! Big Brothers Big Sisters would like to thank Lisa for her passion and commitment to our program and her Little. She has been an exceptional Big Sister, despite personal setbacks, life changes, and a global pandemic!
If you are interested in becoming a Big like Lisa, visit mentoringkids.org/volunteer.