Friendship shows value of Big Brothers Big Sisters

Lacombe’s Mike Hindman and Pat Eeles forge strong relationship via program

CLOWNING AROUND – Mike Hindman and Pat Eeles pose for a photo during a past Big Brothers Big Sisters Halloween party. The pair have been good friends since being matched in the program over three years ago.

CLOWNING AROUND – Mike Hindman and Pat Eeles pose for a photo during a past Big Brothers Big Sisters Halloween party. The pair have been good friends since being matched in the program over three years ago.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is all about mentorship and helping children find the role-models they need. One local match proves it is about more than that, it is about friendship as well.

Little Brother Mike Hindman and his Big Brother Pat Eeles have been strong friends since they were matched about three and a half years ago. Mike said the program gave him something that he couldn’t get at home.

“It’s the chance to hang out with a boy and have fun,” said Mike.

Mike, 11, is the only boy in his family. He has two older sisters and three younger sisters still at home. Even his dog is a girl, he said. While he likes spending time with his family, he wants to be able to spend time with a guy every now and then.

Nicole Hindman, Mike’s mother, said that Mike’s father is not involved in his life and as a single mother with three girls, it is difficult for her to give Mike one-on-one time.

She said she thought it was very important for Mike to have some more male influence in his life.

“As a mother, I don’t understand a whole lot about ‘the guy thing,’” said Nicole.

She added that she thinks Mike’s match is good for Eeles’ too, as all Eeles’ children are daughters.

Eeles said he decided to become a Big Brother through the encouragement of his daughter who is a social worker and had worked for Big Brothers Big Sisters in the past. Now that his own children are grown up, Eeles decided he had the time to mentor another child and “Took the plunge” to sign up with BBBS.

Nicole said the friendship between Eeles and her son took strong roots from when they first met.

“Right off the bat, the took to each other,” said Nicole. “They have been close ever since.”

Mike said that he liked Eeles when he first met him through the program. He said he felt drawn to his new Big Brother because the two of them seemed to have a lot of things in common.

“We do lots of different stuff together,” said Mike. Mike and Eeles meet every Monday evening to spend a few hours together. Eeles said the pair participates in all kinds of activities from puzzling to fishing.

Sports is one big interest the pair has in common and Eeles said they have enjoyed going to all kinds of games to see all kinds of teams play together including the Edmonton Eskimos and Red Deer Rebels.

Eeles joked with Mike that the Rebels should give them season tickets as they have never lost when the two friends were at a game.

Eeles said he and Mike trust each other greatly and have gotten to know each other better over the years. Nicole added their relationship has been fairly strong right since day one.

Both Mike and Eeles said they treat each other like family.

On one outing to Calgary, Mike even met Eeles’ brother and parents, which was a special time for both of them.

“It was fun,” said Mike. He added that it really made him feel included in his Big Brother’s life.

Eeles said he has noticed how strong a bond Mike has developed not only with him, but with his wife and the rest of Eeles’ family.

It’s an aspect of their relationship that Eeles reciprocates.

“I treat Mike like I would my own child,” said Eeles. “He’s part of the family.”

It’s a relationship that gives both ways. Eeles said he got involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters in an effort to give back to someone. What he found was not quite what he expected.

“You get back more than you give,” said Eeles.

For Mike, the friendship with Eeles allows him to have some much-desired “Guy-time.”

In addition to the assigned guy time on Monday night, Eeles and Mike have been known to spontaneously get together on occasion as well.

Eeles will call Mike the night of if he happens upon tickets to a sports event and Mike also invites Eeles to school functions and other such events.

“I never thought I would go to another Grade 3 Christmas Concert again,” said Eeles.

According to their web site, for nearly 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been making a positive difference in the lives of youth by developing and implementing a wide range of mentoring programs. One-to-one and group programs, for both in school and outside of school.

Serving as role models, mentors teach by example the importance of giving and giving back, of staying in school, and of having respect for family, peers and community.

news@lacombeexpress.com

 

Just Posted

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported five additional deaths Wednesday due to COVID-19. (File photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer at 169 active cases of COVID-19

Province set to move into Stage 2 of reopening Thursday

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

Grade 12 students at Wetaskiwin Composite High School took place in the annual water fight off school property on June 11, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Graduating students in Wetaskiwin throw water fight after being told it could result in suspension

Students were told their participation could result in them being barred from graduation ceremonies.

The arrest south of Winnipeg occurred before Bernier was to arrive at a protest in the city. (Twitter/Maxime Bernier)
Maxime Bernier arrested following anti-rules rallies in Manitoba: RCMP

He’s been charged with exceeding public gathering limits and violating Manitoba’s requirement to self-isolate

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives for the G7 Summit, at the airport in Newquay, United Kingdom, Thursday, June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Details on Canada’s vaccine sharing plan coming Sunday, up to 100 million doses

Canada’s high commissioner to the UK says details will come after the G7 summit

Conservative MP Tom Kmiec waves to the crowd during the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Friday, July 8, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Newborn daughter’s death inspires MP’s bill on bereavement leave for parents

Conservative MP Tom Kmiec says a day or two off not enough for some grieving parents

Victoria’s 2020 Canada Day celebration will not happen this year. (Black Press Media file photo)
Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations backs cancelling Canada Day celebration

Statement made after Victoria cancels Canada Day event as a statement of reconciliation

United Nurses of Alberta is slamming Health Minister Tyler Shandro for suggesting staff vacations are causing emergency room problems. (Black Press Media files)
Physicians were suffering burnout and then the pandemic made it worse, UBC study finds

Burnout prevalent among 68 per cent of doctors – likely a reflection of issue globally, says researcher

Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020 in Ottawa. The federal government is bringing in a new coal policy saying new or expanded thermal coal mines create unacceptable environmental impacts.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Unacceptable environmental effects:’ New federal policy restricts thermal coal

Policy puts another roadblock in front of Coalspur Mines and its Alberta Vista mine expansion

Kawasaki City Institute for Public Health Director General Nobuhiko Okabe speaks during a press conference after a roundtable on COVID-19 countermeasures at Tokyo 2020 Games in Tokyo, Friday, June 11, 2021. A group of experts participated in a third roundtable on COVID-19 countermeasures proposed for audience-related infection control. (Franck Robichon/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics still undecided on fans — or no fans at all

Fans from abroad already banned from what is shaping up to be a largely made-for-television event

Most Read