If you think you don’t have enough time to be a Big Brother or Big Sister, think again. That’s the message from Jim Feiner, who says the rewards of being a Big Brother are great and the commitment isn’t what people might think.
Feiner and his wife, Deb Dunn, both decided when their son went off to boarding school they wanted to be Bigs. Feiner is a Big to Hunter, a 13-year-old Islander.
“It’s a great match,” said Feiner, who used to be a Cub Scout den leader, and active in Boy Scouts. “We are both outdoor junkies.”
Feiner is being highlighted this month by Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Cape and Islands to spotlight the difference that Bigs make in the lives of 400 children on the Cape and Martha’s Vineyard as part of National Mentoring Month, according to a press release.
“I would absolutely recommend it,” Feiner said. “It’s not as big a commitment as people might think it is. The opportunity to be supportive and impactful in the life of a young person is a great honor. I have found Hunter and my relationship with him to be nothing but positive.”
Feiner and Hunter have been matched since November 2019. In a press release, Hunter said, “Jim has become a great friend and mentor to me in the last year.”
According to the release, Feiner and Hunter participated in the Derby, where Hunter caught and weighed in his first fish. “As an Island kid, the Derby is a big deal, and this meant a lot to me to catch and weigh in a fish. It was even more exciting that I was able to do this with Jim,” Hunter said in the release.
It’s these types of connections that are the foundation of the program, J.R. Mell, regional director at Big Brothers Big Sisters, said in the release. “Mentoring is such an important piece to youth development, and a volunteer opportunity that gives back 10 times what you put into it,” she said. “We hear so many times from our Littles that the most important thing about their Big was that they just ‘show up.’”
According to the release, there is an urgent need for male mentors on Martha’s Vineyard. For more information on how to get involved, visit capebigs.org.
Feiner’s real estate business is known for donating 10 percent of the profits of a sale to the nonprofit of the buyer’s choice. He was recently telling his story about mentoring Hunter to a client, and that client chose Big Brothers Big Sisters for the $3,000 check, Feiner said.