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Best Buddies is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by providing opportunities for one-to-one friendships and integrated employment.
For most people, most of life's great experiences have been experienced with their closest friends. Most of life's defining moments growing up happened with our friends. Stories are often told starting out, "Do you remember the time we..." and end with laughter. Imagine taking all your childhood stories and erasing your friends out of those memories. Imagine not having someone to share the good times or not having someone to help support you with the bad ones. Even now imagine your life without your friends. In the world today it is often our friends who help us with everyday life and not having them would seem impossible. Imagining life without friendship is difficult for some because they are fortunate enough to have a warm circle of friends to embrace them, for others, unfortunately it is a reality. People with intellectual disabilities are one of the most undervalued populations in the world. As such, children with intellectual disabilities often grow up experiencing a life of rejection and isolation. This leads to emotional problems, including depression, lack of self-worth and loneliness. Developing friendships with those who are not disabled is critical to a successful transition out of segregation and into a world that celebrates their inclusion. As a result of their experience with Best Buddies, they have an increased sense of self worth, which leads to securing successful jobs, learning how to ride public transportation, living independently in their homes, falling in love and making long term friendships. Best Buddies is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by providing opportunities for one-to-one friendships and integrated employment. Everyone deserves the opportunity to have wonderful friendships; Best Buddies is just helping them get there.
- Kellie Green
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