Hometown Hero Spotlight on Donald Carfi

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Volunteer Square loves to recognize exceptional individuals that donate their time and energy to nonprofit organizations across Connecticut. These volunteers make a true impact in the lives of others. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, annual volunteer recognition events had to be canceled so we wanted to offer an alternative way to honor volunteers. We reached out to all the volunteer coordinators we work with and asked them to nominate volunteers. We are thrilled to share all the wonderful stories here and on our website, over the next several weeks. If you would like nominate a volunteer, please fill out this Nomination Form.

Hometown Hero - Donald Carfi Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern CT
Nominated by -Andrea Reed - Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern CT

Here is what Andrea had to say about Donald:

Although Donald Carfi, has been matched with his “Little Brother” for only one year, he connected with his Little and his Little’s family quickly and easily. He planned activities that interested his Little and allowed him to burn off energy since he is a younger child. From there, their relationship has blossomed.

Don had been so happy to provide his own children, now adults, with positive experiences and opportunities. He applied to be a Big Brother because he wanted to do the same for another child. He is open-minded, caring, and patient; important qualities for a Big Brother. His Match with his Little Brother has been amazing! He cares a great deal for this young man and it shows. Don’s Little Brother and family have nothing but positive things to say about him. They are so thankful for Don’s support over the last year.

Don puts a lot of thought into the Match’s activities and how they benefit his Little. He gives his Little opportunities to be active during their outings and when they are not together. At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Don dropped off a helmet and used bicycle to his Little so that his Little could keep active while school was out. He reports feeling sad that he and his Little Brother cannot meet at this time. With safety as the number one priority, Don is committed to supporting his Little Brother as best he can for now and looks forward to resuming outings as soon as it is safe.

Don has been consistent with his Little Brother which is a huge benefit for any of our Littles. Don gives his Little Brother a lot of positive feedback and discusses how he can build on skills he already has. He engaged in one activity specifically so his Little Brother could come out of his comfort zone and practice his social skills among adults and new people. While still definitely having fun, Don keeps a focus on how he can provide his Little Brother with opportunities to grow. He takes his role as a Big Brother seriously and puts his heart into it!

In addition to being an amazing mentor to his Little, Don has been a great support for our agency. He raised over $1,800 in online donations for Big Brothers Big Sisters during the recent Great Give. Don communicates regularly and openly with staff enriching his Match even further

Interview with Donald Carfi

What made you start volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters?

I feel fortunate and blessed personally so I was interested in looking for a way to give back and the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor program seemed like a great way to make a positive impact in a young persons life.

What do you love about volunteering there?

I love my little and his family and I see the love and support they have for each other. To be a small part of this is extremely satisfying. In addition the entire BBBS of SWCT staff has been like a family. Their dedication, hard work and support is greatly appreciated.

Have you participated in other volunteer work before?

Yes, I've coached youth sports, I've been involved in school activities in my community, I worked on a project for Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, I was involved in the Adventure Guides program and I've volunteered in Special Olympics.

How do you encourage others to get involved?

To lead by example, getting involved and by offering support to others.