Have you heard of Best Buddies? No, I’m not talkin’ BFFs or blood brothers. I’m talkin’ a charitable program, established as a mentoring program for people with intellectual disabilities. Primarily in schools, it motivates young student leaders to be mentors and friends with fellow students who have intellectual disabilities, but it also helps adults find jobs and support.
When I was a junior in high school, my peer leadership team (PLT) instructor asked if I would be the president of our school’s Best Buddies program. I was honored and delighted to introduce such a heartfelt program in our school. To be honest (and I’ll probably sound awful for saying this), I thought the most gain I’d get from this was something impressive to put on my resume, but I was SO wrong. I learned so much about strength and compassion. And, more importantly, I gained a number of amazing new friends in the process.
Today, 11 years later, this program is still going strong. In fact, it’s in its 20th year of operation. I just heard on the news that there are now 12 high schools and 4 colleges participating in the state of Utah, as well as global involvement with 42 countries. This growth is amazing and wonderful!
The 20/20 Campaign
To celebrate the 20-year anniversary, Best Buddies is looking for donations in the denomination of 20 ($20, $200, $2000). This money will be used to raise awareness and get the program in more schools. Please, click here to read more about this worthwhile cause and donate.
Is Best Buddies in your school or your child’s school? If not, please express interest and see what you can do to get the program introduced (it goes in jr. high-college). It will change your lives for the better, I promise.
The founder of Best Buddies is visiting Utah to raise awareness. He’s speaking at my Alma mater tonight, Westminster College, at 4:00 PM and again at 7:30 PM. If you have time and are in the area, I encourage you to attend and learn more.
If you’re not in the area, you can learn more about Best Buddies, visit http://www.bestbuddies.org/.