NEW YORK (CBS 2) – Seven-year-old Karelyn Famiglia and Claudia Boggio are best buddies.
The two met last year as part of New York’s Big Brothers, Big Sisters program and now they see each other several times a month and have been to so many places together that Karelyn doesn’t have a favorite.
“We’ve been to a lot of places. I can’t pick,” she says. “The zoo was fun because we got to feed animals.”
On Saturday, they joined in with thousands of other New Yorkers just like them to run through Riverside Park raising money that will go toward keeping the program alive and thriving.
Organizers hoped to raise a million dollars for the program to help support their matches, which is what they call the pairing of the big sibling and his or her little sibling.
“Most people think that Big Brothers, Big Sisters is about getting a bunch of volunteers together and that’s it, but we need to raise funds to bring those matches together,” Executive Director Hector Batista said.
Claudia and Karelyn are just one pair out of about 3,000 matches in the city, and so far it’s worked out well for the two.
“We’ve gone to museums, we’ve gone to the park, we’ve gone kayaking,” Boggio said.
In addition, Boggio’s helped her little sister learn English.
“Her mom is from the Dominican Republic and she doesn’t know a lot of English so she wanted to be paired with someone who knew English and could learn it outside the home,” Boggio said.
Each match is carefully screened and costs about $2,000 to put together.