Hometown Hero: Dale Long

On September 15, 1963, Dale Long was 11 years old and in his church, the 16th Street Baptist Chruch in Birmingham, Alabama. He was 3 classrooms away when a bomb exploded, placed there by Klu Klux Klan members. Four little girls who were Dale's friends were killed.

His grandmother, Willie Maye Hawkins, told Dale out of that tragedy he could use his life to help someone else. When Dale attended the funeral for three of the bombing victims, he stood 10 feet away from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and looked directly in his eyes. Even as a little boy, Dale knew it was a pivital moment in his life. In college, an Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity brother told him about the value of Big Brothers Big Sisters and Dale knew that's how he'd use his life to make a difference.

Dale Long has been a Big Brother for 45 years. In 1989, he was named National Big of the Year and went to the White House to be honored by President George H. W. Bush. Dale is now mentoring his 7th Little Brother, Mawntel Miller of Forney. They have fun activities, read and discuss books but most importantly -- Dale is helping prepare Mawntel for college and life.

There's a big need for Big Brother Big Sisters in North Texas. To make a difference in the life of a child, call Big Brother Big Sisters at 972-573-2332.