Best Buddies pairs UNC students with members of the Chapel Hill community who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Best Buddies mission is to facilitate and create lasting friendships between the college buddies and the community buddies, through regular group events (talent shows, UNC sporting events, movie screenings, etc.), but also through one-to-one meetings outside of large group events. Best Buddies recruits throughout the year on campus and is always looking for new college and associate buddies!
College buddies are actively matched with one of the 80 or so community buddies who take part in UNC Best Buddies; each pairing is based on similar hobbies and activities. The goal is then to build a one-to-one friendship and meet with one another at least three times per month (one large group event and two individual/ small group meet-ups outside of the group event). The individual meet-ups are largely left up to the college buddies, but some popular activities include: going to a UNC sporting event, visiting a restaurant, or going to a park or movie – really whatever both individuals will enjoy! All of the buddies live nearby, so having a car is absolutely not a necessity.
Associate buddies are another way for students to get involved in Best Buddies,. Associate buddies are not matched with a community buddy, but must come to all of the large group events. Associate buddies become a crucial component of the group events, helping to organize activities and stepping in for college buddies should they be unavailable.
As of 2012, UNC Best Buddies took on a leading role within the Campus Y to promote disability awareness around UNC’s campus. UNC Best Buddies ran the hugely successful Spread the Word to End the Word campaign, garnering many signatures, selling numerous t-shirts, and putting on a mini-speaker series in a bid to curb the use of the word “retard.” The entire campus rose to the challenge and the campaign was a huge success! 2013 is showing even greater promise as Best Buddies is now looking to build upon this foundation and make the 2013 campaign even bigger! Other exciting events, that we hope will touch all corners of our great campus, are also in the works, which will look to further promote disability awareness. All college and associate buddies are given the opportunity to join/contribute to the Disability Awareness sub-committee.
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