BE-Friends Volunteer Matching Program

Building “Bridges to Belonging” through authentic friendships

  • Meaningful Relationships
  • Trusted Caring Friends
  • Fun Community Activities
  • Enjoy Shared Interests/Passions
  • Explore New Experiences

About the BE-Friends Program

At Bridges to Belonging, our purpose is to affirm the inherent dignity and worth of people living with disabilities and walk with them to overcome isolation, live free of barriers to inclusion and experience belonging.

As humans, we are all hardwired for connection and belonging. We want and need people in our lives who we can trust, people we know genuinely care about us and who “get us” and accept us for who we are … and as we are.

People with disabilities experience an increased risk of isolation, stigma, and exclusion from community barriers to developing meaningful friendships.

The Be Friends Program aims to provide community members with a platform to develop friendships where people feel valued and know they belong.

A friend, a person with a disability is paired with a volunteer Buddy, a person with or without a disability. You can decide how often you want to meet, the things that you do together, and the new places you want to explore in the community together.

The BE-Friends program differs from a traditional volunteer program’s defined role. The roles of volunteer ‘buddy’ and ‘friend’ can shift as friendships grow. We hope to break down barriers that exist to making friends in our community.

Here’s what participants are saying

Discovering new things together and learning from each other’s gifts. My friend is very kind, and smart. She introduced me to vegan food, and I LOVE IT! – Community Buddy

At first, I didn’t think things were going well, but in the last 2 months, it’s really grown, and I see my buddy as someone that is a part of my life now. I message him all the time just to chat and vent, and he is always there. I think this is just going to keep evolving. – Friend

Be a friend and have a Volunteer Buddy

You will be matched with a Community Volunteer Buddy who shares your interests and enjoys similar social and recreational activities based on the preferences in your application and interview.
You and your Buddy will spend quality time together. Enjoy doing fun things in the community. Get to know the people in each other’s world and build your own amazing friendship.

Eligibility: If you are 17 years old or older with ANY disability you can be matched with a “Buddy”.

For more information please contact:


Be-come a Volunteer Buddy

Are you passionate about people with disabilities living their best lives? Do you enjoy creating authentic friendships? Do you value diversity, inclusion and the unique gifts and strengths of others? Most of all, do you enjoy making new social connections?

As a Buddy Volunteer, you will be matched with a person with a disability in the Bridges to Belonging community, referred to as a Friend. Together you will develop a meaningful reciprocal relationship as you spend time doing things you both enjoy exploring various inclusive community activities, and sharing new experiences.

We are inviting people with the following gifts and values to apply as volunteer Buddies:

  • Excellent Listening and Communication 
  • Personable, Social and Relational  
  • Strong Knowledge of Community Activities and Resources
  • Kind, Considerate, Understanding, Flexible, Adaptable, and Patient
  • Values Diversity, Inclusion & Equity
  • Self Motivated, Integral, and Dependable

Eligibility: If you are 19 years of age or older, you can apply to be matched with a Friend.

For more information please contact:


Our BE-Friends Story

Danny applied to the BE-Friends program because COVID-19 made socializing difficult for her. She was very optimistic about finding a buddy match in BE-Friends.

When Daniela applied to be a Buddy in our program, we knew she would be a good friend to Danny and there was a very good possibility of the two forming a genuine long-lasting friendship. And that is exactly what happened.

Danny and Daniela enjoy getting to know each other and have done many different activities together, including going to a board game café, meeting up to eat out at different restaurants, making art, going to Waterloo Park, and even inviting both of their significant others and friends to join them in their activities. They’ve been on numerous double dates and push each other to try new things.

Daniela says: “Danny is very kind and smart. She introduced me to vegan food, and I love it!”. Danny is happy with the friendship she is forming with Daniela and says, we found a great connection.” Daniela has shared that the best part of their friendship is, “although we have busy lives, we always make time to check in with each other”. She also stated; “I almost forgot that I met Danny through BE-Friends. We just get along so well that I see her no differently than my other friends.”

This is why we created BE-Friends and what it’s all about, meeting great people and forming authentic friendships that can last a lifetime! Because friendship is free.

Danny and Daniela are a great example of the impact BE-Friends and have in the lives of both participants. It is now 10 months since their friendship began, and both Danny and Daniela are excited about the many opportunities and experiences they will share together in the future.