Each year we choose one extraordinary match to represent our local agency as our official Match of the Year. We celebrate their friendship throughout the year and the shining example they set for the rest of our matches.

Big Sister Terri and Little Sister Mattison were matched in 2015 when Mattison was 7 years old.

Growing up as an only child in a single-parent household, Mattison was extremely shy and had struggled with a lot of anxiety, especially whenever she wasn’t right by her mom’s side. With a lot of patience and perseverance, Terri was able to gently encourage Mattison to overcome some of her fears and anxieties.

“She was patient with me, knowing that I was worried about everything. 4.5 years later, we have become good friends and I no longer worry like I once did.” –Little Sister Mattison

Since being matched, they have worked on her homework, gone to a play, taken walks around a long block, celebrated birthdays and holidays, made jewelry, read at the library, and gone to a park. Mattison has let Terri remember how fun it was to play with Barbies, make jewelry, draw, and go to a playground.

"Something I try to do for my Little is to model healthier eating and exercise behaviors. I ride my bicycle all summer long, including to some of our events. My Little has even been in the car with her Mom and they beep and wave when they see me pedaling. So I was quite thrilled when she decided to overcome a fear and learn to ride a bike. I couldn’t believe how quickly she took to it. It makes me happy as it is another activity we do together," said Terri.

Mattison's self esteem has been blossoming. Their latest project is a decoupage poster with positive descriptive words pasted on it. At first Mattison didn’t think many of the qualities applied to her. But they went through every word together, and what they mean, and she realized there were a few more she could pick. In another section they are putting the positive attributes her Mom, Dad, Aunt, and Terri see in her even if she doesn’t see it yet. The final area has words that describe qualities she would like to develop in the future.

Watch the video below to learn more about their friendship!