Eric Rayford was first matched as a Big Brother in January, 2000. Eric has been matched with two Little Brothers over his two decades of involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters. In September, Eric also personally raised over $3,000 for General Motors’ first ever Move For Kids’ Sake fundraiser.
We recently asked Eric to share some of his personal highlights and perspectives from his time as a mentor, advocate, and fundraiser for BBBSMD.
“The 3 to 4 years of being his mentor prior allowed us to develop a relationship in which I could play a very important role… when it seemed like he needed a male figure in his life... My Little Brother attended my wedding and witnessed the birth of my first child. He went on to graduate from high school and then went onto college. I attended his high school graduation.”
“On my second match as a Big, I got to attend professional ball games (basketball, baseball, and hockey) with my Little Brother. I got to attend some of his football games. I served as his mentor from when he was 8 or 9 years old throughout high school, until he graduated. When I had family members home after major surgery, my second Little was there for me by coming over to bring food and asking how he could help.”
After his second match ended and the birth of his children, Eric decided to take a break from mentoring, but was still committed to supporting local youth. He lent his talents to helping raise awareness and funds for BBBS by providing live music for fundraising events, fundraising for his company (General Motors), and fundraising for his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha. He has been fundraising for at least 8 years.
When we asked Eric “When it comes to youth, what are you willing to fight for and why?” he responded:
“For the youth to get a very good chance at their best life. That is, having a fair and equal opportunity to succeed in life.”
“My experience as a Mentor and as a fundraiser for BBBS have been very rewarding. I feel really great knowing that I have touched the lives of Detroit youth in a positive way.”
Volunteers like Eric are the heart of our mission at Big Brothers Big Sisters. We cannot thank Eric and all of our Bigs, donors, and advocates for their dedication and support of youth in Metro Detroit through BBBS.