Wind­ward Y Worker Good Match For ‘Lit­tle’

MidWeek Islander (Windward Oahu) - - Windward Oahu Islander -

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?”

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