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Best Buddies International Founders Anthony Kennedy Shriver Type Service Founded 1989 Location Miami, FL Origins Georgetown University Area served International Focus To enhance the lives of people with intellectual disabilities Method Community service Motto WE ARE BEST BUDDIES™ Website Best Buddies International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant, international organization that has grown from one original chapter to more than 1,500 college, high school and middle school campuses across the country and internationally.[1] Contents 1 Programs 1.1 Best Buddies Citizens 1.2 Best Buddies Colleges 1.3 Best Buddies High Schools 1.4 Best Buddies Jobs 1.5 Best Buddies Middle Schools 1.6 e-Buddies® 1.7 Best Buddies Ambassadors 2 Fundraising & Events 2.1 Best Buddies Challenge 2.1.1 Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port 2.1.2 Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle 2.2 Eunice Kennedy Shriver Challenge 2.3 Where The Money Goes 2.3.1 Ways Best Buddies uses donations 2.4 Donate To Best Buddies 3 Sponsors & Supporters 3.1 Audi Partnership 4 Future Expansion 5 References 6 External links // Programs Best Buddies programs engage participants in each of the 50 United States. They have accredited international programs on six continents with additional country programs under active development. Their seven formal programs – Best Buddies Citizens, Colleges, e-Buddies®, High Schools, Jobs, Middle Schools and Ambassadors – will positively impact more than 700,000 individuals in 2010. When people with IDD are unable to attain or maintain a job, it is most often due to an absence of social skills rather than an inadequacy to perform the work required. Best Buddies introduces socialization opportunities and job coaching, providing the necessary tools for people with IDD to become more independent and, consequently, more included in the community. Best Buddies Citizens Best Buddies Citizens matches people with IDD in one-to-one friendships with individuals in the corporate and civic communities. Friends and family are the foundation that help human beings become successful. Without love, support, and friends, our lives would be empty - a life people with IDD have been forced to live throughout history. Since 1993, volunteers are changing lives by simply sharing their time with a new friend. Best Buddies Colleges Best Buddies Colleges pairs people with IDD in one-to-one friendships with college students. In the past, individuals with IDD have not had the opportunity to have friends outside of their own environment. By becoming a College Buddy, volunteers offer a Peer Buddy the chance to explore a new way of life. College chapters have grown from one single chapter at Georgetown to active chapters on more than 425 campuses worldwide. Best Buddies High Schools Since 1993, Best Buddies High Schools has paired students with IDD in one-to-one friendships with high school students. By introducing Best Buddies into public and private high schools, participants are crossing the invisible line that too often separates those with disabilities from those without. Today, Best Buddies boasts more than 900 high school chapters worldwide. Best Buddies Jobs Best Buddies Jobs continues the integration of people with IDD into the community through supported employment. The program helps individuals attain and maintain jobs of their own choosing by providing ongoing support and training, enabling people with IDD to earn an income, pay taxes, and work in an environment alongside others in the community. Since its inception, Best Buddies Jobs has placed more than 500 individuals in integrated employment positions. Best Buddies Middle Schools In today’s middle schools, students with IDD often enter the same building and walk the same hallways as their peers, but they are left out of social activities. Started in 2001, Best Buddies Middle Schools is already active on 145 middle school campuses pairing students with IDD in one-to-one friendships. e-Buddies® e-Buddies® is an e-mail pen pal program for people with IDD of all ages (10 years old and up) and peer volunteers from across the United States and around the globe. e-Buddies is a fun and safe way to make a new friend in a secure online setting, and is available to anyone who has an e-mail address. e-Buddies can also be a great teaching tool for a special education classroom that can help teach social skills, as well as literacy and computer skills. Joining e-Buddies is quick and easy. Simply visit to read more and to complete the online application. Best Buddies Ambassadors Best Buddies Ambassadors educates and empowers people with IDD to be leaders and public speakers in their schools, communities, and workplace. Best Buddies Ambassadors is the next step in the Disability Rights Movement- teaching people with IDD the skills needed to successfully self advocate. Best Buddies Ambassadors prepares people with IDD to become active agents of change.[2] Fundraising & Events Best Buddies Challenge The Best Buddies Challenge is the organization's largest fundraising initiative, sponsored by German car manufacturer Audi. It consists of several annual events in the United States in which participant cycle, walk or run. Participants are encouraged to participate along side their Best Buddies, those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Members of the Kennedy-Shriver family attend all of the events, as do other celebrities and Olympians who support the organization. Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port The Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port takes place in June and goes from Boston, Massachusetts to Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. The event includes a 100, 50, or 20-mile bike ride through the New England countryside, or a 3K walk or 5K run. Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle The Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle takes place in September and goes from Carmel, California to San Simeon, California. The event includes a 100, 50, or 20-mile bike ride down the Pacific Coast Highway, or a 3K walk or 5K run. Eunice Kennedy Shriver Challenge Eunice Kennedy Shriver had one vision — to show the world that people with intellectual disabilities could achieve and thrive in society. Her vision and legacy live on through two organizations — Best Buddies and Special Olympics. With her sons Anthony and Timothy at the helm of each respectively, they are leading the world's largest classrooms for acceptance and inclusion. In their own ways, whether it be through sports, friendship, leadership development or jobs Best Buddies and Special Olympics are changing the world. To further ensure that Mrs. Shriver's legacy lives on, Best Buddies and Special Olympics partnered on October 23, 2010 in Washington, D.C. for the inaugural Eunice Kennedy Shriver Challenge, presented by Audi. Through this event, the two movements are continuing to help build more communities of acceptance and inclusion. For this event, there was a choice between a 20 miles (32 km) bike ride through Washington DC and the surrounding areas of the Nation's Capital, or a 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) walk or 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) run. The event was followed by a luncheon on the National Mall.[3] The Shriver family issued the following statement in August, 2009 after Eunice Kennedy Shriver's passing: Inspired by her love of God, her devotion to her family and her relentless Eunice Kennedy Shriver belief in the dignity and worth of every human life, Eunice Shriver worked without ceasing—searching, pushing, demanding, hoping for change. She was a living prayer, a living advocate, a living center of power. She set out to change the world and to change us, and she did that and more... Her work transformed the lives of hundreds of millions of people across the globe, and they in turn are her living legacy.[4] Where The Money Goes 89% of all revenue goes directly to Best Buddies programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), while only 11% is spent on administration and fundraising. Contributions to Best Buddies are judiciously spent, with the majority of these funds directly applied to the enrichment of the organization's programs. Their total annual budget demonstrates that 89% of all monetary contributions are allocated to one of Best Buddies seven programmatic divisions that directly integrates people with intellectual disabilities. Ways Best Buddies uses donations $8,500: Secures a job for a Best Buddy $7,500: Funds a High School or College Chapter $6,500: Funds a Middle School Chapter Chapter $2,000: Sponsors a Citizens Buddy Pair $1,000: Funds a student to attend our Student Leadership Conference $500: Sponsors an online e-Buddies Pair Conference $300: Supports a High School Chapter Training $150: Sponsors a campus-based Buddy Pair[5] Donate To Best Buddies You can support Best Buddies International by donating through their website at Sponsors & Supporters Audi Partnership In June 2007, Audi became the exclusive automotive sponsor of Best Buddies International. The partnership,which will last for a period of five years, also supports numerous projects within the Americas as well as fundraising events in Europe and overseas. With Audi on board, Best Buddies International was able to raise more than $11.8 million for Best Buddies programs via major fundraising events in Palm Beach, Hyannis Port, Hearst Castle, New York, Washington and Miami in 2008. The “Friendship Drives” in Las Vegas and Miami generated more than 500 test-drives and leads. The Audi/Best Buddies partnership was kicked off with the introduction of the Audi RS4 Friendship Car designed by world-renowned, neo-pop artist Romero Britto. Tom Brady, Best Buddies supporter and star quarterback for the New England Patriots, was the first to receive the Audi RS4 Friendship Car on May 21, 2007 at an exclusive event held in Boston. The car, which was unveiled in April 2007 at Art Chicago, embarked on a tour of some of the world’s most captivating cities between New York and Mexico City, culminating in Miami, where it was the centerpiece of a live auction benefiting Best Buddies. Audi is the title sponsor of the Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle in California and the Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port in Massachusetts. In addition to being the title sponsor for these Challenges, Audi is prominently featured at all other Best Buddies national events. Best Buddies and Audi also collaborate on a variety of cause marketing programs throughout the year that take place on both the national and regional levels.[6] Future Expansion Best Buddies also is systematically implementing their 2010 Initiative that will witness the organization's continued significant growth, both domestically and overseas. Best Buddies volunteers annually contribute services to the community that equate to more than $170 million USD. Even though Best Buddies has advanced tremendously in their short existence, many areas of the country and many regions of the world still lack programs to help people with IDD become part of mainstream society. Their goal is to continue expanding nationwide and at the local community level, while more broadly engaging the global community through their programs.[7] References ^ Best Buddies International ^ Best Buddies International Programs ^ Chris Brown hosts youth run for Eunice Kennedy Shriver Challenge | Ministry of Gossip | Los Angeles Times ^ [1] ^ Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port - About Best Buddies ^ Audi & Best Buddies Partnership ^ Best Buddies International External links Best Buddies International e-Buddies® Best Buddies Challenge Eunice Kennedy Shriver Challenge Jim Caple's ( article on the 2007 Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle Challenge "The Handicapped's Best Buddy". The Saturday Evening Post. April 1, 1991. People Magazine- Best of Buddies