Hello and welcome once again to the land of non-profits. Every trip down EatStreet ends with the choice to direct a small donation to a local non-profit. Today I’d like to introduce you to one of those non-profits–Best Buddies of the Greater Milwaukee area, where individuals with and without disabilities have been given an important gift–the gift of friendship.
The power of friendship can have a significant impact on many areas of an individual’s life, including employability and leadership. Numerous studies have shown that social skills are a vital factor in whether an adult with an intellectual disability is able to keep a job. Best Buddies Wisconsin’s new Citizens program pairs adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in peer-to-peer friendships so that they have the chance to learn and practice social skills.
More than 2,200 students in area middle schools, high schools, and colleges have been matched in friendship, and in 2013 with the launch of Best Buddies Wisconsin Citizens, adults now have the opportunity to be paired in friendship. Students and adults who are paired in friendship through Best Buddies programs develop imperative social and leadership skills that are the building blocks for their future success.
The Citizens program has already begun to have a tremendous impact on lives of the individuals currently participating. These participants have enjoyed several activities together with great success; however, Best Buddies Wisconsin is still in need of adult volunteers. Be sure to visit http://www.bestbuddieswisconsin.org/citizens to learn how you can apply and how you can be paired with someone in your community seeking a friend to go shopping with, watch movies, and more.
Maybe you’ll be inspired to make a new friend!