Family match pairs kids with families

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WICHITA, Kansas — Big Brothers Big Sisters is known for one-on-one mentoring but it is not the only option to help kids. The “family match” pairs a child with both parents and their children. It can be tough to tell where the family ends and the match begins.

It’s family game night at the Blackman house — a night that wouldn’t be complete without nine-year-old Jalen. Brett, Grace and Lou added a brother when Jalen was matched with their family two years ago.

Big Brothers Big Sisters has been a way of life for parents Chad and Kim. Both had little’s for several years before starting their own family. Even with three busy kids of their own, they wanted to stay involved.

“I hope they see that it’s important to give back and reach out to folks,”

Jalen’s blessed with a loving family of his own. The Blackman’s just enrich that.

“If it’s something that’s not a big deal to us and we may take for granted, it might be a big deal to him,” said Chad Blackman.

But more than anything, it’s about spending time together. Many times that’s just hanging out at their house.

“We don’t see electronics very often and then we go outside and play football,” said Jalen.

Healthy habits and a strong example are just a couple of the things Jalen gets from this family match.

As for the Blackmans, “We certainly get as much out of it as Jalen — and probably more.”

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