Windward Y Worker Good Match For ‘Little’
brother’ Ray, too, because without a great kid like him, this award would not be possible,” he explained.
Though BBBSH usually pairs “Bigs” and “Littles” who live near each other, Tanaka and his Little are practically neighbors.
“Ray lives about two minutes away, just on the other side of the block,” he said. “It is good because if there’s anything that he or I forget to bring to our outing, it is just so easy to run home and get it.”
Tanaka and his Little have bridged their age difference by learning from one another. “He teaches me what things, songs and people are cool nowadays, and I tell him about what was hot back in the ‘olden’ days.”
Tanaka works at the Windward YMCA as a fitness attendant, following his retirement from Pearl Harbor last March.
“I picked the Windward YMCA because its small size enables me to get close with the members,” he said. “I think the personal touch resulting from a small gym really brings members closer.”
Every year, BBBSH chooses two volunteers who are each an exemplary “Big” and honors them as its Big Brother and Big Sister of the year.
Most of the time, it comes down to the little things that can make the biggest impact in a child’s life. “Sometimes the child just wants someone to talk to,” Tanaka explained.
“Who wouldn’t want to be that someone?”