Best Buddies

A Way to Build Relationships with Adults with Disabilities

By: Helana Mulder, reporter

   Community and relationship building are such an important part of life; especially life at Redeemer. Many extracurricular activities involve reaching out to the community and creating relationships with people outside of the Redeemer bubble. One of the ways that you can do this is through Best Buddies, a program that was developed to encourage university students to get to know adults with disabilities from the Hamilton area.

  Amanda Reynaert, a student at Redeemer and one of the leaders of Best Buddies, came to love the program in her second year after one of her housemates persuaded her to join. The program involves meeting with or talking to your Best Buddy about once a month. This can be done in various ways such as through email, phone, or meeting in person for coffee.

 “I’ve been hooked ever since,” Reynaert explains. “For many of us, we may take our friendships for granted, but Best Buddies truly helps one to cherish these relationships.”

  The Best Buddies Program also organizes a bigger event once in a while where all the Buddies can get together for an activity like bowling or dinner. You can also find fun individual activities to do with your buddy.

  Selena Reitsma, a second-year leader of Best Buddies, became a part of the program after hearing a presentation on it in her first year. Her buddy, Mikey, is part of a basketball league and they have gone to a couple of games together. “Every time he scored a basket, he pointed at me. It made me feel so special,” Reitsma recalls.

  Best Buddies is a great way to not only build strong relationships but also take a break from the stress and everyday life of a student. Reitsma remarks that it is great to have a friendship with someone who has a different agenda than you. “Mikey is never stressing about midterms or assignments. He is always excited about what is going on in his life and this reminds me to find excitement in my own hobbies and interests.”

  If you are interested in joining the Best Buddies program or just interested in learning more about this opportunity, you can contact the president, Molly, at or one of the two Vice Presidents: Selena or Amanda