BARNESVILLE -- Janet Lallathin of Barnesville was recently honored as the 2008 Big Sister of the Year by Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Upper Ohio Valley.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is the oldest, largest and most effective youth mentoring organization in the United States. Its mission is to help children reach their potential through professionally supported, one-to-one relationships with mentors that have a measurable impact on youth.

Lallathin, a Barnesville Hospital pharmacist, has been a Big Sister in Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Upper Ohio Valley for almost 18 years. During that time she has mentored four "Littles." She is presently matched to Kaisha who she has been with for four years and Shamar for five years. Her first match lasted many years until her "Little" turned 18 and, because of the bond they had while matched, they still keep in regular contact with each other. In addition, Lallathin's first "Little" has been a Big Sister in the program for the last five years. They even do some activities as a group.

Lallathin dedicates a lot of her time to children. She is very active through her church and Compassion International where she sponsors two children, a girl from India, who she goes over to see, and a little boy from Brazil.

Lallathin, Kaisha, and Shamar have done many activities together including going to places outside the area like: Chuck E Cheese, Kennywood, Pirate Games, and Sarris Candy. She also has made use of the activities in the area such as: going out to eat, seeing movies, bowling, the B.E. Taylor concert every year at Christmas, The Octoberfest, Build a Bear Workshop and going out for ice cream. She also attends her "Littles" birthday parties, she goes to watch their ball games, and even takes them to church with her.

Through the years, Lallathin has been a very consistent Big Sister. She has taken an active role in their education, buying school supplies and encouraging them to do well in school. She has shown them a world outside the valley taking them to places and showing them pictures of her many trips to foreign lands and the ways in which she helps them. She give her "Littles" the attention and time that is needed to make them feel special and valued.

The award came as no surprise to staff at Barnesville Hospital who continuously display the attributes of CARE -- Courtesy, Attitude, Respect, and Enthusiasm.

Each year, staff select the twelve individuals who consistently exemplify the C.A.R.E. attributes.

Lallathin, through selection by her peers, has received the C.A.R.E.Giver award on two occasions. In 1995, she received the special honor of being chosen as "C.A.R.E. Giver of the Year."