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Letter from the Director Ask Emerson Best Buddies Spotlight e-Buddy of the Month Tech Corner e-Buddies in Action!

contentse-Buddies in Action!

Each month, we are happy to take the time to highlight a school or agency that is involved in e-Buddies. Our hope is that this will be an opportunity to share some of the challenges and triumphs encountered through group participation in e-Buddies!

This month we spoke with Meagan Gallagher from Bishop Grady Villas in Florida!

How long has your group been involved in e-Buddies?
Our group has been actively involved in e-Buddies for the past six months. Before I started working at Bishop Grady Villas our group had been signed up for e-Buddies but all of the matches had been withdrawn by the time I started. We have been going strong with our new matches for the past six months.

How many members are currently matched with e-Buddies?
We currently have seven matches.

What are some key challenges you have faced and overcome?
The biggest challenge we have faced is the Buddies e-mailing by themselves. Sometimes the Buddies will e-mail their e-Buddy numerous times a day or they will e-mail without a single word spelled correctly, so that it is almost impossible to read the e-mail. Our staff does its best to help remind the Buddies to e-mail only once a week and to help proof read the e-mails. The Buddies have also started asking one another to help with spelling and proof reading before they e-mail their e-Buddies. One of the other challenges weíve faced is when the e-Buddy doesnít write to our Buddies. Some of the Buddies wonít write unless they are responding to an email. The e-Buddies staff has been helpful in e-mailing me when one of our matches hasnít written in a few weeks. This helps because then I can verbally remind the Buddy to send an e-mail.

How do you make e-Buddies work with your group?
Our Buddies love checking their e-mail so it hasnít been a challenge to remind them to e-mail on a regular basis. Our computer lab is open for 12-hours a day. The residents have the freedom to e-mail whenever they want to. Most are in the habit of checking their e-mails numerous times a day and respond as soon as their e-Buddy e-mails them.

What have your group members gained by participating in e-Buddies?
Our group has benefited greatly from e-Buddies. It has given them a new outlet to practice their communication skills. Having an e-Buddy has also helped the residents to have a new friend outside of our community. It has been helpful for them to practice their computer, typing and communication skills. However, the biggest gain our Buddies have found is the benefit of a new friend. Our Buddies have truly become friends with their e-Buddies and share life experiences together.

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Do you work with a group of e-Buddies participants? We'd love to feature your group here! Please contact us at ebuddiescomments@bestbuddies.org.


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