When you volunteer, the world becomes a better place and amazing friendships happen along the way.
As strangers who ended up in the same group, Bianca and Sarah have become lifelong friends. They bonded over hard work in the Dominican Republic and, although they have never lived in the same city, they’ve managed to grow closer over the years. This past summer, they celebrated their 10-year Friendaversary!
We asked them a few questions to learn about how it all started, what they do to stay connected, and how has their friendship made life better.
How did you get to know each other on the Build?
B: I’ve never found it challenging bonding with people on a Build. Everyone is incredibly friendly and working towards a common goal. It was a bit different with Sarah because she is absolutely hilarious. She would constantly crack sarcastic jokes throughout the day (something we definitely have in common) and then never shied away from sharing deep thoughts during daily debriefs. I remember shovelling and shovelling and shovelling. I’m forever grateful that this picture was captured because I feel like we spent hours bonding over manual labour…and challenging gender stereotypes.
S: I think we initially became friends because our height is less than average!
Bianca (left) and Sarah (right) on a Build in 2009.
How have you managed to stay in touch over the years?
B: Thank goodness for social media! We continued to have discussions after our trip about what we experienced, our interests, and our desire to make the world a better place.
S: We have a running joke we only see each other every few years. After we met in 2009, Bianca and I hung out for a few hours in Peterborough almost four years later. Then we’ve had a quick brunch in Toronto, and have gone on a trip to Brazil together in 2014. As much as I’d love to see her more, I wouldn’t have it any other way! We casually joke about what country our next hangout will be in.
Bianca and Sarah during 80s night in July 2009. (Yes, we had 80s night back then, t00)
What are some significant milestones that you’ve celebrated together?
S: I knew I needed Bianca in my wedding party (mainly, so we could hang out again). She was a bridesmaid in my wedding in 2016, and I was a bridesmaid for her wedding in 2018!
B: I distinctly remember meeting someone at her wedding who said that she didn’t quite understand why I was a bridesmaid until she saw Sarah and I interact together. We have a unique bond and friendship like no other and I think that’s what I love most about our friendship—it’s unexplainable, and I am totally okay with that!
Sarah knew she wanted Bianca as a bridesmaid in her wedding.
How has this friendship made your life better?
B: She is such a unique friend, and I am so grateful to have her in my corner. I appreciate her constant care and support. I also really appreciate her outlook on life. Sarah has such an upbeat personality full of jokes and sass, but like many, she has experienced hardships. Through thick and thin Sarah always shines through positivity. Sarah makes me want to be a better person (actually, she does make me a better person).
S: I am so thankful for her friendship, the way she loves people SO well, her generosity, and how she has the drive to create change wherever she goes. Bianca inspires me on a daily basis to be better and help others wherever I go.