AUCTION OPENS IN:
Best Buddies Everyday Diversity Auction & Sweepstakes – A COVID-19 recovery fund benefitting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Best Buddies programs.
100% of the proceeds will be used to provide immediate and critical services to Best Buddies participants during the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes job training for participants and employers, leadership training so that ambassadors are able to advocate for their needs, resources to ensure that friendship programs can pivot into the virtual space and inclusive living opportunities.
97% of Best Buddies participants have been adversely affected by COVID-19.
School closures impact 3,000 Best Buddies chapters. Without traditional on-campus activities, participants with IDD are at risk of isolation and it is growing increasingly difficult for students to gather, socialize, and fundraise in support of Best Buddies programs.
Over 500 Best Buddies Jobs participants have been impacted by layoffs, furloughs, and reduced hours. This threatens their independence, access to healthcare, and integration into local communities.
Only 4% of Best Buddies Jobs participants have transitioned to telework.
Virtual services and engagement require resources that are not accessible to all participants and volunteers.
Some individuals with IDD require increased support, to utilize the technology, complete school assignments or job tasks, which may not be available in remote school and work environments.
Individuals with IDD are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and therefore need to take greater precautions to reduce exposure to the virus. This may require isolation for extended periods. 50,000 Americans with disabilities have died from COVID-19 within a 4-month period.
Natural disasters and pandemics present increased challenges for individuals with IDD yet limited funds are designated to disability-led organizations to protect the health, safety, and independence of these citizens.
Best Buddies International acknowledges the racial inequality and injustices faced by the black community. The organization strives to increase Black representation within the four program pillars, Staff, Leadership Team and Board of Directors. We stand as allies with the Black community and will utilize our position of privilege to listen to and amplify their voices. Best Buddies is committed to the following:
- Establishing Best Buddies programs in predominantly Black Institutions
- Providing scholarships and support to eliminate barriers which prevent volunteers in Black communities from establishing and fully participating in Best Buddies programs
- Creating inclusion and diversity curriculum for staff and volunteers