Shaping Omaha’s Future with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands

For Frances Hunter, Shaping Omaha’s Future “Starts with our Babies”

“I feel like we all have something we can give someone…”

Frances Hunter has found her ‘something’ – and Little by Little, it’s directly impacting the future of Omaha.

“I heard about the program and I said, ‘Hey, that is something I can do.’ I feel like we all can reach out and give back,” Frances says.

She’s been volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands – non-stop – ever since. Over the last ten years, Frances has mentored four different girls, providing a wealth of positive influence and exposure to new experiences – whether that’s a trip to the zoo, an afternoon at the museum or a seat at Cirque de Soleil.

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“That was awesome,” Frances says. “Some of the things we take for granted, they get to do now.”

She remembers that one St. Patrick’s Day – she and her Little Sister didn’t just watch the parade, they were in it: “She was so excited. She said, ‘I’ve never been part of a parade.’ She got to hold the Big Brother Big Sister banner, give out candy and wave at people. It was so cute.”

Her “Littles” have faced different family-life and economic challenges. Frances hopes they’ve all gained, from her, a sense that they can be successful, that people are rooting for them: “Life happens to everyone, but you can be anything you want to be. You just have to work hard and get what you want out of life.”

A mentor-plus, Frances is also an avid fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters (anyone who wants to join her team for the annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake has to raise at least $100 dollars) and an enthusiastic recruiter of new mentors. She’s quick to spread the word among colleagues at Centris Federal Credit Union where she manages the contact center. “I tell them you’ll get more out of it or just as much as the child.”

Brad Kirshenbaum, Director of Marketing & Recruitment for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands, says Frances – mentor, fundraiser, recruiter – embodies Omaha’s “We Don’t Coast” spirit; the epitome of someone who always seeks ways to go above and beyond.

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“Her dedication to promoting the potential of Omaha’s future by empowering its youth with Big Brothers Big Sisters is unparalleled,” Brad says. “She doesn’t rest on her laurels and wait for good things to happen, she makes them happen.”

Frances says No Coasting, to her, means overcoming excuses, taking that leap and getting involved: “If we all picked one thing we could do to make the world a better place, what would that be for you? We all need to do something for someone – and for me, it starts with our babies.”