Annette was a shy and nervous 9 year old girl from a single parent family with no siblings. On April 4, 1990 she sat in bright colored leggings sprawled across a chair with her mother and the Big Sisters’ Match Coordinator, when Nancy Fischer, her future Big Sister, walked in. The two chatted for a while and then the meeting was over. As Little Sister Annette was leaving the office with her mother, Nancy heard her remark ‘I like her’. Annette and Nancy were the first Big Sister and Little Sister matched at the Big Sisters Toronto agency.
Annette had difficulty as a kid, “I never felt like I had a trusted adult that I could talk to (other than my Mom, who doesn't really count) until she came along. The people and lifestyle around me could have very easily put me down a very different negative path”, she says. “All a kid needs is one person to trust and not look at them as another controlling adult... Someone to talk to, hang out with, and share some free time that is so precious to us all. Those few hours can change a life, it changed mine dramatically”. Annette knows that adult is Nancy. “Nancy taught me how to be a reasonable person, that there is no need to be angry all the time, especially with the little things in life that are always going to be there to annoy you“.
Over the past 26 years, Nancy and Annette have been able to share many experiences together. Whether simply hanging out in the city or at Nancy’s cottage, or celebrating milestones like Annette being Nancy’s flower girl at her wedding, these moments together had a tremendous impact on both of their lives. Nancy says Annette taught her commitment, patience and understanding, and is grateful to have established an unconditional friendship, adding that, “knowing I helped steer her in a positive direction and into the wonderful woman she is today is so rewarding”.
Nancy and Annette were officially part of the Big Sister program for 6 years but the match officially came to an end when Nancy moved to Victoria with her husband. This didn’t stop the two friends though and they have always kept in touch. Today Nancy still lives in Victoria and Anette is in Toronto but the two have been able to stay strong friends by chatting online and the occasional visit to see each other.