KNOXVILLE, Tenn — Handwritten letters are few and far between these days, but it was 9-year-old Isabella's way of coping during the pandemic when she couldn't see her big sister.
Isabella and Lindsey wrote about their love of animals and how they were passing the time.
"I have a dog named Evie, and she's very playful and she's very easy to train," Isabella smiled.
"I'm a recent dog owner as well so we're going through the journey," Lindsey said.
Isabella and Lindsey's journey together began two years ago when they were matched through Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee.
Lindsey was new to Knoxville and looking for a way to make a difference.
She started visiting Isabella every week in her school library to catch up, play games, and read together.
"I think she's really nice and fun to play with," Isabella said.
"She always has the biggest smile on her face when we come in on Monday morning which lights me up," Lindsey said.
Their friendship means even more to Lindsey now after going months without seeing many people.
"Working from home can be challenging so it's been wonderful for me as well to have that connection and know I'm there for Isabella," she said.
A sister that Isabella can look up to and finally see face-to-face.
"We have a great time together and it's like we really, truly are sisters," Lindsey smiled.
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More than 150 children are currently on the waiting list for a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee, but there aren't enough volunteers.
Click here to become a mentor.