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The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Loyola chapter of Best Buddies kicks off


Oct. 15 was the first and most recent event, which featured a Halloween theme. Buddies dressed up and competed for awards for best costume and worked with club members to complete fun arts and crafts activities.

Members and buddies had not been matched yet, the whole point of the event was to facilitate conversation and begin to form friendships meant to last a lifetime. Other than wearing a superman cape and elf shirt, the group played ring toss, aiming for massive pumpkins they later decorated. Later that afternoon they turned to sticks and glue for a “make-your-own-monster” project.

Formed by eight parents nearly 70 years ago, Best Buddies is an international organization devoted to ending the social, physical, and economic isolation of over 200 million people who suffer from intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“This club is an opportunity for those with disabilities to form friendships,” said Loyola Chapter President Valerie Greisman ’20 said.

Each chapter of Best Buddies has a different host site where they can match their members with buddies. Loyola’s Best Buddies chapter is paired with The Arc Baltimore.

The Arc Baltimore provides daytime and residential services to adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc also gives employment training and support in addition to family support. It is the Baltimore area’s chapter of The Arc, which is a national organization that serves over 700 chapters.

Here at Loyola, members of the Best Buddies club plan monthly events for buddies from The Arc to attend. Buddies come and spend the day to interact with Loyola students.

“People should understand that Best Buddies isn’t a charity. Best Buddies is about a mutual friendship,” Greisman said. “I’ve been a member throughout high school, and I had met some of my best friends. I took my buddy to prom.”

Best Buddies offers two positions, one as an Associate Member and the other as a Peer Buddy. Associate Members attend monthly events, while Peer Buddies are paired in a one-to-one friendship. Students in the Peer Buddies position must talk at least four times with their buddy and spend time with them twice each month. “Talking” includes everything from writing letters, texting, a phone call, or emailing.

Nov. 12 is the next event, while the club is meant for members, anyone is welcome. The day is about having fun and making friendships, so the more the merrier!

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Loyola chapter of Best Buddies kicks off