Honoree 2015 – Richard Robbins

Congrats to Richard Robbins for being honored as an outstanding community volunteer!

Name:  Richard Robbins

Nominating Organization:  Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County

Honoree Category:  Human & Community

Why Nominated:  Over the last 10 year, Big Brother Rick Robbins and Little Brother Tereck Hanks have walked through many seasons of life together. Both joyful & challenging, these experiences have allowed Rick and Tereck to grow closer to one another and are ultimately what has allowed these gentlemen to build a bond that will never be broken. As Tereck nears high school graduation, as well as graduation from the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, these two plan to remain in this brotherhood that has been a keystone of development in both of their lives. This pair is truly an example of how a life can be changed with a little bit of patience and a lot of dedication. At the tender age of 8, Tereck was brought into the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in need of male mentoring as he came from a single mother household. In addition, Tereck’s mother was overcoming drug abuse & addiction while battling severe health issues. Due to these domestic conditions, Tereck was removed from his home and placed in the foster care system. With great strength, Tereck’s mother was able regain her health, wellness and sobriety, which enabled her to regain custody of Tereck. It was then that she realized things needed to change for the better for her son. She began scheduling regular visits with a counselor to help Tereck heal wounds of abandonment as well as to address behaviors of withdrawal. Next, Tereck’s mother enrolled him in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program not knowing that Tereck’s life would be changed for the better, forever. When Tereck was first interviewed for the program, he told staff that he wanted a Big Brother because he wanted someone to have fun with. Utilizing mindful matching techniques, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County matched Little Brother Tereck with Big Brother Rick Robbins. During the first year of being matched, Rick’s patience was strengthened as Tereck only wanted to play on their outings while Rick wanted to enrich him academically and begin opening his eyes to his potential and a brighter future. Rick quickly realized that he would first have to play by Tereck’s rules in order to begin establishing a trusting relationship. Over the first few years of being matched, Rick and Tereck enjoyed fun activities together such as going to the movies, golfing, and picking peaches. As a budding friendship might experience, many layers had to be peeled back before Tereck felt comfortable and trusting enough to form a strong bond with Rick. Rick, however, did not give up on this friendship. As Tereck’s open-mindedness expanded, Rick began taking Tereck on a variety of different outings and desired to teach him practical & meaningful life skills. Together, Rick and Tereck would work on home projects on weekends where Tereck was able to see how a vision coupled with the work of one’s hands can truly create a masterpiece. Moving outside of the house and into the community, Rick began inviting Tereck to assist with an annual fundraiser supporting juvenile diabetes where Tereck was able to establish a philanthropic spirit and deeper bond with his community. Over time, Rick and Tereck began to care for one another as if they were family. A few years into their match, Tereck’s family experienced a devastating house fire leading to the complete loss of their home. Caring for these people as if they were his own family, Rick took it upon himself to help Tereck’s family collect essential items to help them get back on their feet. On a different occasion, Tereck’s mother’s health had deteriorated once again. Forgoing their regular outings, Rick would bring Tereck over to his home and prepare meals with him in order for Tereck to take them back home. This gesture of care and support meant the world to Tereck and his mother. Rick’s immediate family began to grow as well. Just a few years ago, one of Rick’s grandchildren was born with pressing health issues. Through this difficult time, Rick remained active and present in Tereck’s life, which in turn showed Tereck a great deal of stability and trustworthiness. As Tereck prepares to graduate from high school in 2015, Rick has joyfully exposed Tereck to the possibility of higher education and his potential to reach for the stars. Rick and Tereck have embarked on several college tours and now enjoy being part of BBBS-OC’s Destination College program. Rick has supported Tereck’s growing interest in videogame technology, explored possible careers in the gaming industry with him, and helped Tereck connect with professionals in the field for industry mentoring. If it was not for Rick and his support, Tereck may have never realized realized that he could turn his passion into a career.

Rick’s impact in this community doesn’t just stop with Tereck, as Rick has also impacted the lives of many other Littles in Orange County as well. Understanding the impact of this program, Rick has served as generous financial supporter of BBBS-OC allowing additional matches to be made every month!

Please write a note of congratulations below!

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