Cottle, Moore discover the value in becoming buddies |

Cottle, Moore discover the value in becoming buddies

Aspen Times Staff Report

Big Buddy Chris Cottle came to The Buddy Program last March intent on becoming a volunteer mentor.

His application stated that he “hoped to gain a good learning experience, do something that kept his priorities in touch, and have some fun.” Cottle said he was initially attracted to the program because he likes little kids and “having responsibilities”.

The application was impressive for a high school senior, and it was clear that Cottle clearly wanted to make a difference in a young person’s life.

Robert Moore’s mom, Liz, called The Buddy Program not too long after Cottle’s application arrived. She said she was interested in matching up her son with an adult male role-model, due to the recent death of her husband.

Moore, age 9, is one of three kids, and the only boy in his family. His mother wanted him to spend more time with a male, given the difficult loss their family was going through.

When her son was interviewed by The Buddy Program, he said he thought the idea sounded fun, and he would like his Buddy to be “someone who was nice and would take him to different places.”

Cottle and Moore were matched last July and have had a great time together ever since. Moore often goes over to his Big Buddy’s house, where they hang out and play games – Nintendo being their favorite.

They also go to the movies, the skate park and bowling. Cottle says he loves spending time with kids, and that he has fun doing things that are a bit different from what he would normally do with his friends and family. He feels his experience as a Big Buddy has been valuable because he is having a positive impact on someone who needs a friend.

“I think The Buddy Program is great because it is good for kids to have more interaction with older people,” Cottle said. “I can really see the benefits by being a Big Buddy.”

Moore’s mother sees those benefits, too.

“Robert has changed a lot since he began spending time with Chris,” she said. “He really likes Chris and needs him in his life. I could not be more pleased with The Buddy Program for Robert.”

When asked what his favorite thing he and his Buddy have done together, Moore talked about the time he took his scooter to the halfpipe at Rio Grande Park.

“I have met someone new who will be my friend for awhile,” Moore said. “If you don’t have a dad or a brother, The Buddy Program is really good. I get to hang out with someone who can be sort of like my dad.”

The Buddy of the Month feature runs once a month in The Aspen Times. To find out about becoming a volunteer mentor or referring a child to The Buddy Program, call Julie in the midvalley office at 927-1001; or Kim in the Aspen office at 925-5717

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