Big Brothers Big Sisters: Changing Lives

March 21, 2008 8:05:55 PM PDT
Right now, odds are a Valley child is home alone and in need of a mentor. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central California is trying to change the odds which are stacked against these kids.

12-year old Michael Clark is on Easter break. He doesn't live with his parents. They don't have a major role in this 5th grader's life. His 72-year old grandmother raises him. She admits, she's too old to take him to a ball game, or a dog show, or roller skating.

Frances Williams, Michael's Grandmother: "I'm tired, when I feel like getting in my recliner, I get in my recliner. But the children need different outings and stuff."

Michael lives within walking distance of Fresno's Chaffee Zoo, and yet he's never been there until now.

"Got him! Did you get him? Yeah! He was licking the water!"

He wouldn't be feeding sting-rays without Bill and Sue Dattola. They've adopted Michael as their little brother.

Michael Clark, Little Brother: "It's been fun because my grandma's old and she's not able to take me places. Fun places that we liked."

"This is as much fun for us as it is for Michael!"

The Dattola's have been married 44 years. They've raised four children of their own who are grown and out of the house. So Michael fills their empty nest once a week.

Sue & Bill Dattola: "He looks like he laughs more. See he's laughing now!"

Michael: "They're kind of family because, they tell me a lot of stuff that I didn't know and alot of stuff that I want to know. I learn a lot from them."

This dynamic match was made by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central California. Without it, kids like Michael would otherwise have too much free time. His grandma says time with nothing to do means trouble.

Frances Williams, Michael's Grandmother: "This is a cruel world and I don't ask the lord to let me live to be 100 but I do ask him to let me see Michael and his brother and sister get of age that they can help themselves."

Abc-30 is a proud sponsor of "Bowl for Kids Sake". Starting next Thursday, you can take part in several bowling events across the Valley. Proceeds go to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central California.

Sign up Your Teams for Bowl for Kids' Sake


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