Grandmother led Charlton to be a Big Sister

Big Sister Stacey Charlton and Little Sister Ashlyn Mitchell. They'll be part of The Big Squeeze fundraiser at The Independent Wednesday.

Stacey Charlton always wanted a little sister. It took years, but eventu-
ally it happened.

And it was the words of her grandmother which led to her relationship with her little sister.

The Oil City woman has been a Big Sister to Ashlyn Mitchell for the past
eight years – many years after she wished for a little sister.

“When I was little, I didn’t take to the fact very well that I had three brothers and no sisters. When my mom wound up having my youngest brother and I
found out it was a boy, not a girl, – not a happy camper.”

But her grandmother, a former Children’s Aid Society worker and one of
the founders of Big Sisters in Lambton said, “Hey, there’s this program some-
day you can have a little sister. Once I was done college I felt I had the time.”
Ashlyn had been a little sister for a while, but her previous match didn’t
want to drive from Sarnia to the county to get together.

When Charlton asked for a little sister from Lambton, she was matched with Ashlyn.

For years, they’ve been together crafting, camping, and taking photos. Ashlyn says she enjoys the crafts the most. Recently, she got her beginners permit and has been driving Charlton around for practice.

The pair go to all of Charlton’s family gatherings together and if Ashlyn isn’t
there, the first question, according to Charlton is ‘Where’s Ashlyn?’

The organization uses a survey to match big and little sisters and it seems
in this case, they hit it on the nose.

“My mom has always joked that she gets all these weird deja vu-s when
Ashley is hang around because the two of us are very similar.”

Charlton says the program is wonderful for both the girls
and the “Bigs” as she calls them.

And when the opportunity to be part of the Aug. 9 Big Squeeze
Fundraiser for the organization came up, she was all in.

Charlton and Ashlyn will be serving their lemonade and treats at The Independent (4156 Petrolia Line) from 10 -2 pm to raise money for Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

“There are so many kids on the wait list,” Charlton says noting
when she was matched eight years ago, 100 kids were waiting.

“It’s also a good way to promote through Lambton
county that Big Brothers and Big Sisters are here and they need some help.”