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Big Brothers Big Sisters Stands Against Bullying

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Adrienne Bankert
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Hundreds of organizations across Texas are aimed at stopping bullying, but Big Brothers Big Sisters has been doing something to help children socially, emotionally and academically for over 100 years. It all starts with mentorship and consistency. “The reward that you get for it,” said Sarah Gipson, “you can’t put into words.”

David and Sarah Gipson are not just a Big Brother and a Big Sister, they are a married Big Couple, and role models to Little Brother Dylan. “It is not about what I can do for this child right now,” said David. “It’s about helping them to get to a place in their lives — to be a mentor, that steady force in their life.”

“You can help build their self-confidence, even without trying,” David added. “Just being a friend.”

A friend is exactly what Dylan needed. He changed schools because of problems with bullying. Other kids were teasing him, ganging up on him and getting him involved in fights. “Not many people are nice,” Dylan said. “Bullying is attacking and bad language.” And while this was happening, his mother was recovering from cancer. His family is considered ‘low income.’

But volunteers like the Gipsons are willing to invest their time, and Dylan’s self-esteem has improved. He now has more friends, and fewer problems with bullies. According to the organization, kids with Big Brothers or Big Sisters are one-third less likely to experience violence. “I think it just gives them constant in their life,” said David, “because they might not have had that before. They have someone who has their back all the time.”

Dylan proves that the cure to help children who are being bullied — or even the bullies themselves — is not a quick fix. It is a relationship. “It’s really not work,” said Sarah. “You’re doing fun things. It doesn’t feel like a hardship at all.”

There are at least two scheduled visits each month, but the success that comes from having supportive role models is something that can last all the way through school and into adulthood. “When you think about a mentor, some people think you have to be perfect. You don’t have any flaws,” said Sarah. “You just have to be somebody stable in somebody’s life, and someone they can talk to, if they want to. And if they don’t want to talk, you just have fun.”

“We’re definitely in it for the long haul,” added Sarah.

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