“Best Buddies was founded to end the social isolation of people who struggle physically and intellectually. The program pairs people with IDD with typical peers and is often the first time the person with IDD has had a friend outside their family. There are Best Buddies chapters in 27 Memphis area schools (public & private, middle school through college) right now, and more are on the waiting list. Students who join the chapters understand that they are committing to a person and not just coming to meetings. Seeing relationships bloom between the people who are paired is a beautiful thing. The person with IDD is no longer isolated or excluded, and the typical peer discovers that this new person in his or her life has a lot to offer and is a person with abilities--- not just disabilities. They learn that we are all more alike than different and that everyone is worthy of and capable of friendship. The lives of both are enormously enriched.”
“To fund Best Buddies, we have an annual luncheon in the fall and a Friendship Walk in the spring, but our biggest event is the annual Gala and Casino Night. This year it will be held on November 14, 2015, at the Cadre Building downtown, which is a beautiful space. We’ll have entertainment, food, and casino-like games that people can play for fun---not for money. The money we raise comes from ticket sales, sponsorships, silent and live auctions, and donations. Those funds will help to expand the Best Buddies program here in Memphis. Information about the gala will be posted on the FB page soon. If readers have any questions, they can contact either of us by email."
9700 Village Circle, Lakeland, TN 38002
Meredith Taylor, Development Coordinator & Program Manager
Casey Newcomb, Program Manager
Website (TN): http://www.bestbuddiestennessee.org
Website (International): http://bestbuddies.org