Program Alert: Best Buddies NYC!
This post comes from Alyssa, one of the program managers at Best Buddies NYC!
Who doesn’t want more friends?! Best Buddies is an organization that helps form one-to-one friendships for adults with and without disabilities. When you become a best buddy, you’ll have another friend to laugh with, go to the movies with, or anything you choose! If you live in New York City and are 18 or older, you can apply to become a Best Buddy in NYC!
What is Best Buddies? (https://bestbuddies.org)
Best Buddies is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves people with and without Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (IDD). The mission of Best Buddies is to establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with IDD. Best Buddies was founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver and has programs in 50 countries & all 50 United States. Best Buddies offers seven programs – Citizens, e-Buddies, Colleges, High Schools, Middle Schools, Jobs, and Ambassadors.
What is the Citizens Program?
The Best Buddies New York Citizens Program provides opportunities for one-to-one friendships for adults (18+) with and without IDD. Buddy Pairs commit to one year of friendship, get together 2 times each month, and share communication (email, text, phone conversation, ect.) each week.
Does it cost anything?
There is no cost to join! Once matched, participants are responsible for their own costs when on an outing.
How are matches made?
Matches are based on same gender, location, common interests, and similar age.
Who is in the match?
Each friendship consists of a:
- Citizen Buddy (volunteer with no disability diagnosis)
- Buddy (participant with an Intellectual or Developmental Disability)
- A Sponsor is also involved (a person with no disability diagnosis who knows the Buddy very well; often a parent, guardian, or case manager)
What is the application process?
- Screening Interviews- Before meeting potential participants, a Program Manager will conduct a Screening Interview by phone with the volunteer or Sponsor to determine if a person is appropriate for the Citizens Program.
- Paperwork- Online Membership Application & free Background Check
- Home Visit- The Program Manager will come to the potential participant’s home for an in-person interview. This is scheduled at your convenience.
- Buddy Search- After completing the Home Visit, the future participant is placed on the Wait List while the Program Manager reviews waiting Citizen Buddies or Buddies and recruits new ones. This process may take time.
- Match Party!- This meeting allows the Buddy, Sponsor, & Citizen Buddy to determine if they feel compatible. If the meeting goes well, the match is made!
*Applicants are not appropriate for participation if they are unable to participate in a mutually enriching friendship, are not independent in personal care tasks, who have severe behavior or anger management issues, and/or have a criminal background
If you would like to join or learn more about Best Buddies, please contact Alyssa Greenstein at AlyssaGreenstein@BestBuddies.org