Friends for Life

BFKS Ashleigh & Little   Ashleigh & Eddie- Friends For Life!

Volunteers join our agency for a variety of different reasons. For some, being a mentor is the perfect way to give back to the community while making a difference in the life of a child. For others, being a mentor pulls on a more personal connection that draws them to the work we do. That was certainly the case for Ashleigh.

Ashleigh joined our organization in 2007, and says that she was “inspired” to get involved because of her Mother’s past as a Big Sister. In fact, Ashleigh’s Mother was so moved by her own experience that she named Ashleigh after her Little Sister.

Ashleigh came into the program as a Big Sister and was most interested in working with youth cross-culturally. Based on commonalities and shared interests, Ashleigh was introduced to her Little Brother Eddie. The friendship began almost immediately.

Eddie and his family of 10 immigrated from Zimbabwe to Canada in 2005. When Ashleigh met Eddie, she could tell immediately that he was a very strong, bright, and independent 13 year old young man.

Eddie and Ashleigh truly enjoy the friendship they have found in one another. The two have explored many diverse activities together, ranging from racquetball to the symphony. When asked what activity they prefer the best, the two agree that it’s the simple outings they enjoy the most.

Ashleigh shared a story about when she and Eddie attended a workshop, which exposed her to what it felt like to be a refugee. Eddie was Ashleigh’s “tour guide” for the day, and she learned of what his life was like when he lived in Africa. Ashleigh explains that the experience was truly eye opening and gave her an appreciation for Eddie’s independence and strength.

Eddie and Ashleigh had been matched for 4.5 years, until their match closed this year when Eddie turned 18. In that time, Ashleigh had not only taken on the important role of mentoring Eddie, she was also a huge advocate for him. Above all else, Ashleigh was Eddie’s friend and although their match has “closed” within our organization, the two will remain friends for life! 

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