Best Buddies International
100 Southeast Second St., Suite 2200
Miami, FL 33131
Toll Free: 1.800.89.BUDDY (1.800.892.8339)
Best Buddies Spotlight
By Ginney Robertson
At e-Buddies we put a great effort into creating quality matches, so that the online relationship can develop. Another Best Buddies program, Best Buddies Citizens, puts in a similar effort. The Citizens program was designed to match a community volunteer in a one-to-one friendship with a person with a developmental disability. Like e-Buddies, Citizens matches are based on similar age and interests. The pairs are also matched based on their proximity to each other, usually 10-15 miles.
Best Buddies Maryland has a strong Citizens program. They currently have 35 matches, which is 70 active members, and another nine members waiting to be matched. Two Citizens Program Managers support the 79 participants. Each Program Manager has a designated area of Maryland in which they promote, develop, and support the program and matches. The two areas that are focused on are the City of Baltimore and Montgomery County.
Citizen pairs are matched for one year long commitment, and they are required to see each other at least twice a month and maintain weekly contact either by e-mail or phone calls. Beyond the one-to-one outings, the Program Managers plan several group outings throughout the year. Recently, a successful bowling event was held in Montgomery County. The best part of the night was when Nancy, a Citizen Buddy, exclaimed, "I knocked down all ten!" Along with the games, refreshments were enjoyed by all. The next event is still being planned, but will most likely be a kickball game. Will it be Baltimore vs. Montgomery County?
Best Buddies Citizens is offered in Dade County, Florida; Broward County, Florida; Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; and Orange County, California. For more information visit http://www.bestbuddies.org/volunteer/citizens/index.asp.
This is the last Best Buddies Spotlight by Ginney Robertson. Starting in July, Janessa Brewer will become the author of this column. If you have any questions or ideas for future articles, please contact Janessa at JanessaB@bestbuddies.org.