Message from our State Director
Best Buddies in Connecticut (BBCT) has been in operation since 1990 as one of the first state offices to open. We work to enrich the lives of youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) through our Friendship program and Leadership Development program.
BBCT had a very successful 2019 with growth in all areas with our best year yet!
From a programmatic view, we started the year with 56 School Friendship Chapters. By the end of 2019, BBCT grew by more than 20% now serving 70 chapters, including opening our first elementary school. We were able to grow by embracing the expansion model to create leadership skills in our volunteers and our buddies.
Another great accomplishment was growing our Leadership Development Program, training 13 Ambassadors through 2 Buddy Ambassador training classes. Collectively, these Ambassadors have spoken at 13 engagements throughout CT. These accomplishments were afforded through very successful fundraising events.
Our annual events were successful and saw tremendous support. Our Champion of the Year event grew by 36%, reaching more community volunteers to be Champion advocates and awesome Mission Partners. The event was a wonderful experience. With the success of this event and our Friendship Walk, we were able to expand our staff by hiring a Director of Development.
With a successful 2019, Best Buddies Connecticut’s 2020 Goals are geared to continue to move our mission forward. Though our goals are a bit different today than they were at the beginning of the year, we continue to make great strides in reimagining the way we deliver our programs and interact with program participants.
Many of us faced uncertainty, fear, and increased feelings of isolation and loneliness. We were forced to look at communication differently. The delivery of our programs went virtual including our Champion of the Year gala. What remained constant and continues to be our priority and focus is our mission of inclusion for all. As a state, we will continue to expand our friendship programs by opening 15 new school chapters, grow our Citizen’s Program, recruit and train new volunteers, work with students to be leaders in their community and continue to grow our Advisory Board.
Now more than ever, we all understand the importance of having a friend and feeling connected. Best Buddies continues to adapt and provide virtual events, social opportunities and brings together the community virtually to show that although we are isolated, we are not alone.
Thank you Advisory Board members, dedicated volunteers, devoted staff, generous sponsors, foundation donors, individual donors and corporate partners for your continued support.
We are all in this together. Thank you for being a part of Best Buddies in Connecticut.