In 1998, when Lott and his wife moved to Grand Rapids, they found themselves without any nearby family. So, in an effort to get involved in their new community, Lott reached out the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program.
Just as he and his wife were starting a family, Lott met his little brother, Valmarcus.
“My oldest son was one year old when I got connected with my little brother, who was nine years old at the time,” Lott said. “They ask for a one-year commitment, and I was really thinking that’s no problem. I wasn’t really expecting that it would turn into a life-long friendship with Val.”
Lott said he continues to stay in touch with Val, who’s now 23 and attending school at Davenport University.
The children’s services organization eventually tapped the banker as treasurer of its board of directors. He now serves on the finance committee, while also coaching football and basketball and the occasional soccer game.
He said it made sense to help the organization by applying his professional finance and banking skills, especially seeing how challenging it is for many nonprofits to remain on sound financial footing. The Dec. 1 St. John’s annual Home Guild Gala, celebrating 125 years of protecting children from abuse and neglect, serves as a major fundraising opportunity for the organization.
Moreover, Lott is following in his father’s own footsteps. When Lott was growing up, his father was also a Big Brother.
“You can always donate your time no matter how busy you are,” he said. “My father was a wonderful example for me.”