Tag Archive | volunteering

My Best Friend

What a great read! This blogger beautifully describes what it’s like to be a part of Best Buddies. After a little reluctance and soul searching, it’s turned out to be one of the best decisions he’s ever made. Wonderful story….

Chicken Corn Chowder for the Blogger's Soul


I’m so glad you decided to join me once again (Mom)! Here we go…

People…let me tell ya about my best friend. He’s hilarious, athletic, a real ladies man and has more sports medals than anyone I know. He once danced so hard his glasses fell off. He gets his hair cut in a different style almost every month, but his favorite (and his posse’s) by far is his mohawk. My best friend messages me every day on the ole Facebook and when he sees me at his sporting events, he waves at me and sometimes yells my name to acknowledge my presence. He is 38 years old and has an intellectual disability. He lives at a complex with many other people with disabilities and I consider those people my close friends as well. I am a member of the Best Buddies organization at my university and MY…

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Why I’m Involved With Best Buddies

Hola! My name is Nick Balkevicius, and I have been involved with Best Buddies for 5 years. Being a part of Best Buddies has been one of the best things I have ever done. It has taught me to treat all human beings with the respect that they deserve, and that nobody deserves to be picked on because of what they look like or who they are. Here is the story of how Best Buddies entered my life. Read More…

The Kandoo Band

From our attendees and staff to special performers and guests, this year’s leadership conference will be full of talented people.

The Kandoo Band is one of the highly anticipated performances at the Leadership Conference this year. The band was formed in 2007 and has six members: Brendan, Bret , John, Lucas, Tori, and Robby. Read More…

Best Buddies – Truly Rewarding on so Many Levels

Sometimes you participate in a group or an event because you “have to,” but then there are those rare times that you participate in something because you really want to – for me this can easily be said about my experience with Best Buddies. This sentiment is equally shared by my wife Julia and my boys, Nick and Anthony. Read More…

Best Buddies Curaçao

Best Buddies Curaçao was launched in 2008 under the umbrella of Totolika, an association for parents of children with disabilities. Arthur Nivillac, Project Coordinator for Best Buddies Curaçao, participated in the Best Buddies International Leadership Conference that same year and during the conference, Arthur witnessed his student leader Christopher Nelson, embrace the Best Buddies mission.

Upon witnessing this, Arthur was confident that the project would be an excellent fit in his native home of Curaçao. With a population of less than 150,000 people, Curaçao has 4 chapters in High Schools and Colleges making friends and making a difference.

After their first year of being matched, the friends came together for a party to say good bye. Many of the Peer Buddies were off to continue their studies in the Netherlands. It was very emotional because the friends had become so close over the course of the year.

As the new school year begins and the chapters reconvene, new frontiers of friendship lie ahead. As they say in Curaçao – No tin riba un amigo: there is nothing better than a friend.

Why Best Buddies Makes Me Smile

This story was written by Sri Rapaka from North Potomac, Maryland. He answered our theme question: Why does Best Buddies make you smile?

Sri and Bryan prior to running the Baltimore Marathon 5k race.Best Buddies makes me smile because it has allowed me to form a rewarding friendship with people such as Bryan Vancavage. I have been matched with Bryan since April 2007.

Why is the friendship so rewarding?

One reason is that Bryan is one of the most caring individuals I have ever met. He constantly asks me about my family and friends. He is very supportive of me after a stressful day of work. He listens very attentively whenever I have had a tough day at work. He has also come out to support me when I have run in races.

I remember one race it was 20 degrees during the race. But Bryan all bundled up was still out there to cheer me on during the course of the race. As I came across the finish line, I could not help but smile. I do not know too many people that would be willing to do what Bryan did.

Another reason is that Bryan’s smile naturally wants to make me smile. If you ever meet Bryan he has one of the best smiles ever. Whenever I see this smile, I just naturally want to smile myself.

Finally, my friendship with Bryan makes me smile because there is a strong committment to support one another. As mentioned previously, Bryan has been very supportive of me. I would like to think that I have been supportive of Bryan as well by offering him the gift of friendship.

Without organizations such as Best Buddies it is difficult for people such as Bryan to form friendships with individuals that do not have a disability. The fact that Best Buddies exists and creates friendship opportunties for individuals such as Bryan is so great, that I can’t help but smile.

a typical son

two of us are tall and the other one of us is short and has Down syndrome

Chicken Corn Chowder for the Blogger's Soul

Thought bubbles of inspiration, attempted humor, and most likely a lot of pictures and music. (WARNING: You are the only one reading this.)

Best Buddies Young Leaders Council

Educate, Engage, Empower.

michael crawley

Every person is an equal member of the human family.

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