best buddies
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A Special afternoon and Evening!

if a picture says a 1000 words… this is speechless!

The gift of friendship

 

hadley and friends

If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… i’ll always be with you.” ~Winnie the Pooh

Best Friends… What is a best friend? A Buddy? Hmm, to be a best friend or buddy is:

• Someone who knows my faults and still wants to be around me
• Someone who challenges me to make myself a better person
• Someone who I can tell my “secrets” to
• Someone who I can spend “silly” time with as well as serious time

To children like Hadley with disabilities friends are hard to come by, they have the friends in their classes but role models of “able” children are so important to them.

It is because of a program called Best Buddies which is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities that Hadley and friends like her have the opportunity to have these role models and buddies.

Founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant, international organization that has grown from one original chapter to more than 1,500 college, high school and middle school campuses across the country and internationally.
Don’t you love to watch your children play with their friends… enjoy sports together… sleepovers…

I’m hoping that you will take a moment to help keep that dream alive for Hadley and her friends and join our teamto help support the dream of “friendship.” Perhaps pass that cup of Starbucks today and donate the $5.00 to this worthy cause, in the name of “friendship.” Thank you!

Spread the Word to End the Word

Last week I was asked to come into my daughter’s high school to speak at an assembly “To spread the Word to End the Word.” I was honored that the President of the schools Best Buddies chapter had asked me to come and address the students on this topic.

I spent a day or so organizing my thoughts as I often do when I give a speech but this time it was going to be a little different because I knew my daughter was going to be in the assembly itself while I was speaking along with some of her classmates, and the regular student body.

I have very strong thoughts on this topic, the “R” word and the negative connotation which it holds to me as a parent of a special needs child.

When I was young I heard that word get thrown around alot. It used to offend me a little bit then, not sure why, maybe the stars above were aligning themselves and wanted to hear and see how I reacted.

Retarded” it just sounds so belittling! “What are you retarded?” Seriously, I have heard children and adults say this to each other still today and I see it as a “slap” in the face, a put down and it is what I call a garbage term.

The actual definition of retarded is “To cause to move or proceed slowly; delay or impede.”

I used these examples in my speech of times I have overheard teens use the term:

Let’s say you show up at the mall in a polka dot shirt and stripe pants and your girlfriends are all giggly and look at you and ask, “What are you wearing? That looks retarded!” Personally you might like the outfit, it might be in bad taste but it is not “retarded”

Or, let’s say you are a high school football player and you just got your schedule for next year and instead of getting your choice of “weight lifting” for your first period somehow you were placed in Chorus. You exclaim, “What, this schedule is retarded!” Well unless you are on the current hit show Glee where it might not be an error but none the less the schedule is not “retarded.”

By using that term it reinforces the discrimination and intolerance children like my daughter face every day.

When we were all little we heard the phrase “sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never heart you,” well that is just not true, names do hurt and it is time to “remove and retire” the “r” word from everyone’s vocabulary.