I have personally been a part of Best Buddies at my high school. It's a program that pairs up a person with intellectual and developmental disabilities with a Best Buddies member to create friendships. I had the most amazing experience with this program, it's very rewarding and life changing. Best Buddies has middle school, high school, college, and internet programs. Their mission is "To establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD)." from their website. I am still in touch with my buddy from my junior year in high school. It was actually started that same year and I am proud to say I was one of its first members. We would go to after school events like Christmas in the Park in San Jose and a local mini golf/arcade. The buddies in this program are simply the sweetest and kindest friends I've ever met, enough to bring me to tears when they made me an ornament for Christmas. I encourage you to join and get paired up. Many people still have many misconceptions about people with IDDs, but if they were to join they would realize very quickly that are just like everyone else with possibly more interesting skills and ideas. I met a buddy who could tell you the time anywhere in the world. Where else can you meet someone like that? I sincerely hope you check Best Buddies out and join or spread the word. Happy Saturday!
Posted Saturday, July 31, 2010