In May 1984 we published a story about a fledgling group trying to help youngsters from single-parent homes grow up a little better by matching them with adults who would spend a few hours a week being their friends. Barb Cempura talked about finding stable, reliable people with the right motives for Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“The majority want to work with a child — they want to make a difference in the community. They say it in different ways, but it comes down to that altruistic motivation,” she said back then.
The local group started in 1980 at Cempura’s kitchen table with $108. Cempura had 60 families involved by the time we did the 1984 rticle. Now there are more than 500 local youngsters matched with adults.
For 35 years Cempura has been the one constant. She raised money. She recruited volunteers. She watched over thousands of youngsters, made sure the relationships were healthy and helped the little brothers and sisters on the path to becoming stable, reliable people with the right motives.
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Tonight she is retiring as the Big Brothers Big Sisters president. Even as she goes out the door, she’s making her party a fundraiser for the group.
What is she doing next? The same thing she did 35 years ago as an Air Force spouse who was often moving to a new home: volunteering.
“My goal was to do something worthwhile that I could leave behind in every place I lived,” she said recently.
Altruistic motivation. Leaving something worthwhile behind.
Cempura is truly a role model.