“I see you, as a classmate, as an equal, as a friend. Do you see me?”

Dorian Smith, Best Buddies PA director; Maureen Barber-Carey, executive vice president of the Barber National Institute; Ryan Christy, chair, Best Buddies Pittsburgh Advisory Board

Best Buddies International came to Erie last night. Dorian Smith, director of Best Buddies PA, and Ryan Christy, chair of the Pittsburgh Best Buddies Advisory Board, discussed with us how we as a community could become a Best Buddies chapter. 

Best Buddies offers numerous programs for middle school, high school and college students. The organization also has started an electronic pen-pal called e-Buddies, and will soon be launching the Citizens Program. This program, starting January 2013, pairs adults with developmental disabilities in one-to-one friendships with peers without disabilities in the corporate and civic communities.

The program was informative but also inspiring. Dorian reminded us that Best Buddies isn’t just for big cities or celebrities. However, he joked, that it’s helpful to have a celebrity like NFL quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots leading the charge. The focus is to bring communities together with one goal: to establish a volunteer movement that creates one-to-one friendships for children and adults with and without disabilities. All it takes is one individual who sees each person as a friend, a classmate and an equal.

How you can help?

Become an advisory board member in Erie: Contact Dorian Smith at DorianSmith@bestbuddies.org or via phone at (610) 992-9400.

Join e-Buddies: Start a friendship via a safe secure email system http://bit.ly/j1mPj

Encourage your child/children to start a movement at their middle school, high school or college: http://bit.ly/VV4Tdi

For more information, visit Best Buddies PA http://bit.ly/qfT5Lt

Let’s bring the Best Buddies program to Erie and to your town!

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2 Responses to “I see you, as a classmate, as an equal, as a friend. Do you see me?”

  1. Sallie Newsham says:

    Maureen, I love this idea. I just sent this to myself at school. It would be fun to get Walnut Creek involved. I will see what I can do. Thanks!

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