Best Buddies in California Newsletter: April 2022 Apr 18, 2022 | California News | Message Preview versión en español April 2022 Did you know April is National Volunteer Month and today kicks off National Volunteer Week? Best Buddies is built upon its volunteers carrying out its mission. Without our dedicated network of volunteers, our ability to spread inclusion would be significantly limited. We want to thank our volunteers for their devotion to helping others and their commitment to making the world a better place! And there is no better place to celebrate our volunteers and supporters than the Friendship Walk! Make sure you come to join this and next weekend as we #WalkForChange for the first time together since 2019. Los Angeles: Saturday, April 23rd, 9am to 1pm @ Shoreline Park San Francisco: Saturday, April 23rd, 8am to 12pm @ Golden Gate Park Sacramento: Saturday, April 30th, 8am to 12pm @ North Natomas Regional Park San Diego: Sunday, May 1st, 8am to 12pm @ Liberty Station Walk With Us! Looking for ways to get involved? Check out our volunteer opportunities & watch this video from some of our stellar volunteers! Friendship Join or start a chapter at your school For those no longer in school or 18+, join Citizens Join E-Buddies Integrated Employment Host a mock interview Involve your employer Teach a job skill Join a career panel Leadership Development Become an ambassador Bring an ambassador to your community Become a speech coach Host a training Signature Events & Advisory Board Join an event planning committee Attend an event like the Friendship Walk or Champion of the Year Join a local advisory board For more information on any of these volunteer opportunities, please email Richard Nakai at RichardNakai@bestbuddies.org. Volunteer Spotlight Meet Sophia Villicana from Long Beach How long have you been a volunteer with Best Buddies? "I have been a volunteer for Best Buddies for the past four years. I have been Millikan Highschool's chapter President for the past three years." What has been your proudest Best Buddies moment? "During the Pandemic. When all schools closed down during March, I was proud to say that my board and I responded very quickly and continued our meetings on google classroom (this was before zoom). We were the only club at Millikan high school meeting during this time. Since freshman year, I have had the goal to raise enough money to go to Disneyland with my chapter. Even during the pandemic, we still had fundraisers at our local burger joint, "Johns" — we fundraised over $1,000 in 2020-2021. And this year, we fundraised $4,000, giving us enough to complete the goal. I am proud to say that Millikan Best Buddies is going to Disneyland!" What is one word that comes to mind when you think of Best Buddies? "Community. Whenever I meet other people from other chapters in Best Buddies, they are the nicest people. And even at Millikan, our club has taught other students who aren't in Best Buddies to always be respectful to people with IDD. This club has changed the atmosphere at our school to be kind and positive. Having people you know closely from a club makes you feel like a family, in a sense that you feel at home, where you belong." Ambassador of the Month Meet Wesley Lam Wes was nominated to be the Best Buddies CA April 2022 Ambassador of the Month for his outstanding support of the Friendship Walk. He has been the vice-chair of the San Francisco Friendship Walk Committee for the past three years! He has been involved with Best Buddies since 2016. "Best Buddies has positively impacted my life. Not only did I develop even more skills when it comes to leadership and meeting new people, but I was able to give back to the organization in various ways, from fundraising to volunteering with their programs and events!" – Wes Get Involved with Best Buddies Do you want to learn more about Best Buddies and how to get involved? Join our May orientation! In just 30 minutes, you will learn about our mission, programs, and local volunteer opportunities. Plus, you'll get to meet other awesome individuals interested in making an impact! May Volunteer Orientation May 11th from 5:00pm-5:30pm SIGN UP NOW Should you have any questions, contact RichardNakai@bestbuddies.org. April Events Calendar VIEW EVENTS Join e-Buddies! If you would love an opportunity to create more connections in a virtual space, then the newly evolved e-Buddies is the place for you! When you join, you can opt to be matched in a one-to-one friendship or to only participate in our vibrant e-Buddies community through our social platform and virtual events. OR you can choose to do it all! Whichever option you choose, we look forward to having you become a member of our ever-growing and engaging e-Buddies community. LEARN MORE To receive the latest Best Buddies news and announcements, click here. 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