Staff Stories: Sue

Sue Godfrey has been the Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters for 2 years. Sue has lived in Muncie since her college days at Ball State University. She, her husband, three children and two dogs moved into their dream home near campus this past year. She counts it an honor to do BBBS's difficult and important work every day for the sake of the children BBBS serves.

When I was 15 my life was upended. My parents were divorcing, I changed schools and for the first time in my life I didn’t live with my mom. I did live with my dad and his brother's family. Each day when I arrived home from my new school, my aunt was waiting for me. She would sit at the kitchen table with me for the 20 minutes between when my bus arrived and my cousin’s bus arrived. The first few weeks after my transition were lonely, but Aunt Jan was constant: sometimes sweaty from mowing the lawn, sometimes dressed beautifully in preparation for using her season tickets to the Indianapolis Opera. These were both things I’d never seen a woman do, and sparked my interest in a different kind of life I aspired to have!

When new living room furniture showed up at Aunt Jan's one day, I ooohed and ahhhed. She explained how she’d been saving up for two years to buy this furniture, and then offered that I could also save up to buy the $150 leather bomber jacket I wanted. Aunt Jan gave me chores to do --windows and baseboards -- so that I could earn the coat. She held me accountable for my work and provided support for my goals. While I’m sure I didn’t really "earn" that coat, she made sure I thought I’d earned the money.

My aunt opened her home to me. And she was there. Nothing extravagant. Nothing flashy. She upset her routine and life to provide a place of warmth and care, to provide opportunities with accountability. Aunt Jan changed my life that fall, just by being present. And for that I am forever grateful.

Jake Turpin