A little effort makes a big difference

Nikki and Alyssa have a special friendship they say will last a lifetime.

The Missouri Valley Big Brothers Big Sisters has been creating lasting relationships for more than 15 years. One bond in Jefferson City has become a friendship for life.

Alyssa has been Nikki's Monnig's little sister for more than two years. They may not share the same parents, but they do share a special bond, thanks to the Missouri Valley Big Brothers and Big Sisters program.

"We're bowling, and then after that we're gonna go get manicures and pedicures," Alyssa Adrian said as she talked about her plan for the day with her big sister.

Alyssa comes from a large family, so when she spends the day with Nikki, she gets some special one-on-one time with her big sister.

Nikki Monnig says, "We've gone to the lake and we rented a waverunner and Alyssa had never done that before. She was screamig and having a great time, he had a blast!"

Studies show children who have a mentor in their life are less likey to use drugs or alcohol, and are more likely to perform better in school.

"So when she comes to my house she can just chill and just have a good time and we bake," Monnig explains.

Big Brothers Big Sisters has a waiting list of kids just like Alyssa who want someone to look up to as role model. What's great is that it usually turns out to be a good experience for more than just the child."

"We have a friendship that we say is never going to end. She's like, you'll be at my wedding!" Monnig says, "It's just rewarding to see that she likes her time with me I like my time with her."

As for the future, Nikki and Alyssa have lots of plans in the making.

"This summer we're gonna go to Chicago!" Alyssa explains. "For Christmas she (Nikki) did a scavenger hunt and I didn't realize it was a plane ticket. Then, I was like Oh, a plane ticket!"

"It just feels good to help in any way that I can," Monnig says with a proud smile about her little sister.

Missouri Valley Big Brother Big Sisters currently has 45 children waiting to be matched. To find out how you can get involved or for more information, click the following link: