HARTFORD -- Brothers, for all they love each other, don’t always share well, but Shane Hartunian, 18, and Davin Garcia, 15, don’t seem to have that problem.
“Those guys are tight,” said Paul Rotchford, their Big Brother from Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters, “They occasionally fight or whatever but they respect each other and they are a team.”
“I think both my brother and I are very comfortable with each other,” said Shane.
Rotchford first volunteered to be a Big Brother after he realized he had more to give after his children grew. Shane and Davin, in turn, needed a Big.
“I don’t have the best, like, father situation,” said Davin. “I didn’t have a male role model in my life,” said Shane.
Shane said their great-grandmother first set them up with Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters – Paul was matched with Davin, and Shane had his own Big Brother. Shane is still in touch with his Big, but when his Big had to move down South, it left a bit of a void for Shane. Paul stepped in to fill that void, by doing things he had done all along.
“Whenever he’d call the house and stuff, he’d like, invite me along,” said Shane.
Davin added, “I’ve always been super close with Shane, so when he started tagging along with me and Mr. Paul, it wasn’t like he didn’t fit in. It wasn’t like he was just there to be there.”
Shane said that Davin is quiet, and tends to internalize his feelings, so Paul said having Shane there actually helped him bond with Davin at first.
“To be honest, [it’s] probably the reason why I first invited Shane along all the time,” Paul said.
Whether they’re hiking or just hanging out at the local coffee shop, there is always time to talk.
“Even when I’m having a bad day, he can just, because he was a father, he could read that I was having a bad day,” Davin said.
“As that developed, I think the three of us became like The Three Amigos and they BOTH would talk to me about family situations, difficulties they were having,” Paul said.
Eventually, the three of them decided to make Paul Shane’s official big brother, but that’s just a technicality. In a way, he’s been that all along.
“My affection for them is regardless, right? They can’t really do anything that’s going to shake that,” Paul said.