Here at Ethos3, we recently had the pleasure of working on a presentation for Best Buddies Tennessee, a non-profit organization based out of Brentwood (about 10 miles south of Nashville). The organization is a true inspiration to us and we’re honored to have had a part in designing and creating their presentation.
Best Buddies has chapters in all 50 states and in over 50 countries worldwide. The international organization is “dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement to create opportunities for one-to-one friendships for people with intellectual and development disabilities.” There are programs for a wide range of ages and lifestyles within the Best Buddies organization including citizens, college, high school, middle school, jobs and e-Buddies.
Anneliese Barron has a highly personal connection to the organization. Her son was born with Down’s syndrome, and she was concerned about his future ability to connect and make friends with others. She heard of Best Buddies, and after realizing that the organization didn’t have an office in Tennessee, Barron made it her mission to change that. Fifteen months after fundraising began, the Best Buddies Tennessee office opened in Franklin, TN, and Barron was hired as State Director.
Barron is quick to emphasize that Best Buddies is a peer organization where both buddies are around the same age. It’s not a mentoring organization, but rather the buddy pairs meet and form true, lasting friendships. Take Hannah and Nila: They met their freshman year of high school and have been best friends ever since. As Hannah said excitedly during our photo shoot for the presentation, “Nila is my best friend. We try to see each other every single day if possible!” And there’s Tripp and Tyler, who are great friends despite the fact that their favorite schools (UT and UGA, respectively) are archrivals.
It’s these kinds of lifelong friendships that Best Buddies fosters, and we can’t say enough about the positive impact this non-profit organization is having on all the buddies involved, and those around them.
For those readers who live in the Nashville area, Best Buddies Tennessee is hosting their 4th annual 5K in Franklin, TN this weekend Saturday, August 25 at 7:30 a.m. There’s still plenty of time to sign up and get registered for the event, so head to their website for details. You’ll see some of the Ethos3 team out there, hopefully not struggling too hard to make it to the finish line!
And for those readers who don’t live around Nashville, head over to Best Buddies International for more information on how you can get involved with this wonderful, inspirational organization.