How volunteering lead Kansas City child to find his brother 15 years ago

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - In the last couple of months, Kansas City's Big Brothers Big Sisters organization matched 300 kids in the metro with adults who volunteered to mentor them.

Big Brothers Big Sisters CEO Micheal Lawrence knows how a match can change the lives of the volunteer and the child.

"It feels like family. That's the ultimate goal, just to create a relationship that becomes so much more than a volunteer opportunity... it becomes part of your life," said Lawrence.

Joe Robinson and Jeff Cowan understand that. They were matched 15 years ago and now spend every Christmas Eve together.

"I've never once introduced him as Jeff," said Robinson. "Since day one, he has been 'my brother.'"

They were matched when Joe was seven.

"My mom just sat me down and asked me if I wanted a brother, and 'Of course, I want a brother. I'm an only child. Yeah, I'll take a brother!'" said Robinson. "It's been one of the best things that's ever happened to me."

Jeff got inspired to volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters after a call to volunteer through George Bush's 'Thousand Points of Life Program'.

"We clicked right away," said Cowan. "I went to parent-teacher conferences, every event he ever did."

From Joe's first car to football games.

"I knew how important it was for someone to be there to watch," said Cowan.

"It made me proud, made me really proud to be able to do something like that and then have my brother there to watch it," said Robinson. "Without it, I just don't think I would be the person I am today."

A brotherhood that wouldn't have been possible without the simple gesture of volunteering. Visit the Big Brothers Big Sisters website for more information or to learn about volunteering.

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