Big Brothers, Big Sisters

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Posted: December 28, 2013

Brian Bence spends time with Toby Lambert at his Harrisonburg home one afternoon. “Every time we meet, it is a different experience,” Bence said. “It has also been great to meet Toby’s family and get to know them better, as well. (Photo by Michelle Mitchell / Special to the DN-R)
Bence has two children of his own — a 19-year-old son and a 14-year-old daughter. He says that he sees many similarities between Toby and his own children. Bence said that it has been a joy to spend time with a 7-year-old, again. (Photo by Michelle Mitchell / Special to the DN-R)
The Big Brothers Big Sisters program has been active for more than a century; it is the nation’s largest donor- and volunteer-supported mentoring network. According to the organization’s website, the impact on the “littles” has been proven a positive one. National research shows that littles have increased self-confidence, make better decisions and improve in school. (Photo by Michelle Mitchell / Special to the DN-R)
Toby shares a shed insect exoskeleton with Bence. Toby’s mother, Jeanie Herring, has noticed the pair’s bond, saying “[Toby] loves Brian. He loves going places with him. He looks forward to when Brian picks him up and everything.” (Photo by Michelle Mitchell / Special to the DN-R)
Brian Bence and Toby, a second grader at Spotswood Elementary School, talk in the seven-year-old’s room during a visit at the boy’s home. (Photo by Michelle Mitchell / Special to the DN-R)

“Every time we meet, it is a different experience,” explains Bence.

“It is fun to experience the world through the eyes of a child,” Bence says.

“I don’t think we can put enough emphasis on...



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