page is loading spinner
October 25, 2019

Best Buddies International Make a Difference in KOP & Beyond

Best Buddies impacts over 1.25M individuals annually

By Rachel Ammon, Director, Marketing & Communications

We all know that King of Prussia is home to a number of Fortune 500 companies, world-class retailers and some of our region’s best and hottest restaurants. What you may not realize is that there are also a number of nonprofit organizations working to make a real difference in the world…from right here in KOP!

Imagine you had an intellectual or developmental disability, like autism, and had trouble making friends at school. You feel isolated and depressed and are often bullied for being different.  For far too many young people, that is a reality. Best Buddies International is a nonprofit working to break down these social barriers by pairing students with and without disabilities in one-to-one friendships and training student leaders to plan activities throughout the year that bring their peers together and create a more inclusive school community. Since its founding in 1989, Best Buddies has grown from one chapter to nearly 2,900 schools and colleges worldwide. The program positively impacts more than 1.25 million individuals with and without disabilities worldwide each year. Thousands of volunteers offer support services, at no cost to their communities, valued at more than $330 million USD.

Currently headquartered in KOP, Best Buddies Pennsylvania will be relocating to a bigger office within Freedom Business Center on November 1. The larger space will allow them to expand their services and accommodate additional staff. Easy access to routes 476, 276, 202 and 422 make KOP an ideal location for this dynamic nonprofit that has chapters at more than 70 schools in eastern Pennsylvania — Elementary, Middle School, High School and College Friendship Programs, Citizens (for adults) and Ambassadors (individuals trained in leadership, self-advocacy and public speaking). Best Buddies impacts over 50,000 individuals with and without IDD in Pennsylvania. Sadly, there are still thousands more people who could benefit from its mission and with an unemployment rate for people with disabilities hovering around 81%, Best Buddies is striving to bring its Jobs Program to Pennsylvania in 2020. You can help make this a reality!

Want to support Best Buddies, a fellow KOP organization? On Friday, November 15th, Best Buddies will hold its fall fundraiser, Champion of the Year Gala, at the Drexelbrook Special Event Center in Drexel Hill. Champion of the Year is a friendly fundraising competition featuring a select group of individuals who wish to make an impact in their community. These philanthropic trailblazers compete to raise funds for Best Buddies Pennsylvania and earn the ultimate title of Champion of the Year. This year’s 12 Champions are all leaders in their communities who are socially active, well-networked and passionate about making a difference in the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. You can purchase a ticket ($125/person) at www.bestbuddieschampion/pennsylvania. For additional information on volunteer opportunities and future events, including the Best Buddies Friendship Walk planned for late April, go to www.bestbuddies.org/pennsylvania or call Milli Protheroe at 888.604.7376 or milliprotheroe@bestbuddies.org.

Profile on BEST BUDDIES INTERNATIONAL

Imagine you had an intellectual or developmental disability, like autism, and had trouble making friends at school. You feel isolated and depressed and are often bullied for being different.  For far too many young people, that is a reality. Best Buddies programs help to break down these social barriers by pairing students with and without disabilities in one-to-one friendships and training student leaders to plan activities throughout the year that bring their peers together and create a more inclusive school community.

Founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Best Buddies has grown from one chapter, at Georgetown University, to nearly 2,900 schools and colleges worldwide. The program positively impacts more than 1.25 million individuals with and without disabilities worldwide each year. Thousands of volunteers offer support services, at no cost to their communities, valued at more than $330 million USD. As a result of their involvement with Best Buddies, many people with IDD secure rewarding jobs, live on their own, become inspirational leaders, and make lifelong friendships.

BEST BUDDIES PENNSYLVANIA

Best Buddies Pennsylvania is headquartered in King of Prussia and will be relocating to its new home in here at the Freedom Business Center on November 1 to expand its services and accommodate additional staff. Easy access to routes 476, 276, 202 and 422 make KOP an ideal location for this dynamic nonprofit that has chapters at more than 70 schools in eastern Pennsylvania — Elementary, Middle School, High School and College Friendship Programs, Citizens (for adults) and Ambassadors (individuals trained in leadership, self-advocacy and public speaking). Best Buddies impacts over 50,000 individuals with and without IDD in Pennsylvania. Sadly, there are still thousands more people who could benefit from its mission and with an unemployment rate for people with disabilities hovering around 81%, Best Buddies is striving to bring its Jobs Program to Pennsylvania in 2020. You can help make this vision a reality!

CHAMPION OF THE YEAR GALA

In Friday, November 15th, Best Buddies will hold its fall fundraiser at the Drexelbrook Special Event Center in Drexel Hill, PA. “Champion of the Year” is a friendly fundraising competition featuring a select group of individuals who wish to make an impact in their community. These philanthropic trailblazers compete to raise funds for Best Buddies Pennsylvania and earn the ultimate title of Champion of the Year. This year’s 12 Champions are all leaders in their communities who are socially active, well-networked and passionate about making a difference in the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. You can purchase a ticket ($125/person) at www.bestbuddieschampion/pennsylvania and join the fun on Friday, November 15th. For additional information on volunteer opportunities and future events, including the Best Buddies Friendship Walk planned for late April, go to www.bestbuddies.org/pennsylvania or call Milli Protheroe at 888.604.7376 or milliprotheroe@bestbuddies.org..

Tags: