Renee and Ashley

Bike riding

Five years of friendship - Big Sister Renee and Little Sister Ashley

March 2014 - “When Ashley and I first met, I remember her grandmother saying we were a match made in heaven,” says Big Sister Renee, explaining “I believe when you are a blessing in someone else’s life, blessings come your way.” The benefit of this friendship is definitely mutual.

Ashley has been matched to her Big Sister Renee for five years. Within in that time, they have shared countless memories and adventures together. “One day we were driving in the car and started to list all the places we have gone to and all the things we have done together … we even surprised ourselves at how many there were,” explained Renee.

The duos activities have ranged from cooking, dining out, venturing to Toronto for the day, riding in planes and sponsoring an elephant in Kenya, Africa. Among the variety of their activities, one of Renee’s favourite pastimes to do together is bike riding. “That is when we have our best talks,” Renee says.

Over the years, Renee and Ashley have built a foundation of friendship. Renee enjoys being someone Ashley can talk to, help solve problems with and find solutions. Renee says she has tried to instill some valuable lessons in Ashley, such as the importance of education, self-sufficiency and positive choices.

A healthy lifestyle is important to Renee, and because of this, she has taught Ashley to be more aware of healthy eating choices and the importance of being fit and active. “She’s a lot of fun to be with and a good influence on health,” says Ashley.

Renee has taught Ashley to face her fears and encourages her to try new things. “Do it afraid” is a motto that Renee has taught Ashley. Renee encourages Ashley to try new things, like sushi, for example. After trying sushi a couple times, Ashley admits “it’s actually not that bad.”

The benefits of this friendship are mutually rewarding. Being a Big Sister has made Renee feel young at heart - “remembering to be a kid again is awesome,” she admits.

And Ashley couldn’t have asked for a better Big Sister - “She’s funny, very nice, sweet and like a best friend,” says Ashley. Although Ashley already has two sisters, she admits that Renee is like family – “she feels just like my sister.”

Renee has aspirations for Ashley’s future - “My dream is that Ashley will have her own beautiful family one day,” she says. Ashley hopes to make a difference in other kids’ lives when she grows up - she aspires to be a police officer or teacher; in her spare time Ashley says she would like to be Big Sister like Renee.

After five years of friendship, Renee and Ashley have built a great bond. Moving forward, both hope that they will always remain in touch. 


We currently are incurring a long waitlist, and are in need of volunteer mentors.

  • Are you 18 years of age or older?
  • Are you interested in positively benefitting the life of a child?
  • Do you have 2-3 hours a week to dedicate to a rewarding friendship?

Click here to apply to be a mentor today!