HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Koga Akinsola is a busy South Windsor dad. He’s taken on another title amid the pandemic — “Big Brother.”
Akinsola was paired up with 11-year-old Jayden through Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters (NBBBS). They connect routinely, several days a week.
“With the second wave, we had to stick to virtual and phones, so what I did was introduce him to the game of chess,” Akinsola explained.
But requests from kids in need and adult volunteers have slowed during months of isolation. Now, the Hartford-based nonprofit has a special message during Black History Month. They want to hear from families and adults with a desire to give back.
The CEO of NBBBS, Andy Fleischmann, said, “You personally have the power to make history by raising your hand and spending some time each month with a child who needs you.”
There’s a particular appeal for diverse applicants, and greater Hartford is rich in diversity.
“We can always use more people of color and especially more men of color,” Fleischmann said.
“Everyone; African Americans, Africans, Caribbeans, I’m originally from Nigeria,” Akinsola added.
As everyone grows weary of Covid-19’s impact on our lives, Fleischmann said being a “big” is one way to add connection.
“As hard as it may be for you and me it’s harder for kids who have already been through a lot of tough things in their lives,” he said.