70% of Littles on our waiting list are boys. We want to highlight our Big Brothers and ask them a few questions about their time as a Big. On today’s Manly Monday we are talking to Zane Hollar.
Zane Hollar, 30, has been a Big Brother for over six years. He started as a Lunch Buddy with Chris who is now 17 and headed into his senior year. They made the transition to Community Based after Chris’s sixth grade year.
Why did you become a Big?
Zane Hollar: It came upon me more by chance. I got to a point where I was starting to settle down and wanted to give back to the community. I wasn’t aware of what charities we had in the community so I went to a volunteer Kosciusko website and Big Brothers Big Sisters was the one that stood out to me. It kind of started just from a desire to start doing good and giving back to a community that has been good to me.
What is your profession?
Zane Hollar: Engineering for Zimmer Biomet.
You didn’t hear about it through an appearance at the company or through a friend?
Zane Hollar: No.
Did you have any hesitation about becoming a Big?
Zane Hollar: I wouldn’t call it hesitation, but I definitely had some nerves before the first meeting. Is it going to go well, is he going to like me, am I going to say the right things, am I the right person for this? All of that stuff. Nothing like hesitating and `Do I want to follow through with this?’ Once I signed up and went through the interview process, I was all on board.
Once you go through the interview process, you are fine because you don’t know what to expect from the interview.
Zane Hollar: I think the interview was helpful because they do a good job of laying the ground rules and telling you what to expect.
How long did it take you to feel comfortable with your Little?
Zane Hollar: Probably two or three meetings. The first one was kind of feeling each other out. By the second or third time he was looking forward to me showing up, and all of his friends did, too. It was pretty quick. The thing I remember most vividly about the early portion of the match was the feeling I had after walking out the first time. Oh, my, God, this is the coolest feeling in the world. It was the first time I put myself out there to give back like that and just to see his reaction and all the other kids’ reactions was very memorable.
So you knew right away you had done the right thing?
Zane Hollar: Oh, yeah, absolutely.
What’s the best thing about being a Big?
Zane Hollar: Just the connections that I’ve made with Chris and his family, the positive words that they’ve had to say about the impact I’ve had on their lives. I feel blessed to be a part of it. They are all wonderful. Chris’s mom is the sweetest person, I swear.
It’s kind of cool because you go in thinking it’s going to be really hard, and then you realize you are having fun, too. That’s really neat.
Zane Hollar: You think about volunteering and it’s about work and putting in time, but this isn’t like that at all. It’s fun.
Has it ever been challenging?
Zane Hollar: There have been a couple of tough situations I have had to navigate and deal with, but I’m happy that they resulted in positive outcomes that brought all of us closer together. You end up helping your little grow up through, what for many, is one of the more challenging portions of their life. I think we can all agree that positive influences are priceless at that age. Family is there for most of that, but sometimes teens prefer hearing advice from someone else. To sum the question up, it is rare, but you should be ready if anything does come up!
How often do you talk to your friends about becoming Bigs?
Zane Hollar: I try not to shove it down their throats. I bring it up occasionally, probably several times a year. I’ve given a presentation within the organization I’m in at work, too.
What are some of the fun things you do with Chris?
Zane Hollar: So much. I’m a sucker for anything outdoors, playing softball, catch, paintball is probably the biggest highlight, especially for him; board games, restaurant, Pizza Hut offers a great discount.
To volunteer for the program or get more information, call 260-456-1600 or go to our website to fill out a volunteer form https://bbbsa.force.com/bbbsforms/s/?type=big
Stay tuned for more “Manly Mondays!” We have a lot more stories to share with you!
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