"I would rather walk with a friend in the dark than alone in the light."
Helen Keller, American author, disability rights advocate and humanitarian
March is Best Buddies Month!
This month-long celebration of the Best Buddies mission is a time to reflect on and celebrate the importance of friendships, jobs, and leadership opportunities in creating a truly inclusive society. To celebrate, we are partnering with a few local businesses to raise funds and awareness for our mission of inclusion!
Morpheus Benefit Concert
Saturday, March 12th
6 PM | Minneapolis Eagles Club
Listen and dance the night away to the 10-member band, Morpheus, perform hits from some of music's greatest classic rock bands: Santana, Chicago, The Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Blues Brothers, and more! $20 tickets sold at the door with 100% of proceeds benefitting Best Buddies Minnesota.
Donation Cupcake of the Month
March 1st - March 31st
Amy's Cupcake Shoppe (map)
The delicious Lucky Charms cupcake is back! We’re partnering with Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe in Hopkins again for their Donation Cupcake of the Month. For every Best Buddies Lucky Charm cupcake sold during the month of March, the Shoppe will donate $1 back to Best Buddies in Minnesota. Can we beat the 374 Lucky Charm cupcakes sold last year?!
The University of Minnesota Best Buddies chapter recently attended a Gopher hockey game and had a blast hanging out with their buddies and Goldy!
NEW schools! This winter, Best Buddies Minnesota opened three new chapters that are currently onboarding and recruiting members. Welcome to Minnetonka Middle School West, Owatonna Middle School, and Excelsior Elementary School – our first elementary chapter ever!
If you would like to learn more about starting a Best Buddies chapter at your school, please reach out to Kaitlin Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We recently hosted a virtual Ambassador Training for participants to learn about networking tips and tricks. A big thank you to the General Mills volunteers who joined us to assist with networking practice and offer their professional advice!
Our Twin Cities Citizens group has braved the cold to explore the Holidazzle, the Ice Castles, and more! We now have 25 buddy pair matches in the program and are working hard to make more Friendship matches.
If you know any adults with and without disabilities in the Twin Cities area looking to get involved, they can sign up at bestbuddies.org/join.
Free Inclusive Yoga
4 PM on Zoom
Join us on Zoom for Inclusive Yoga with instructor Lizzy Horn! Every Wednesday from 4:00 - 4:30 Central Time. All body types and abilities are welcome. These classes will be inclusive for individuals with and without disabilities.
Meet Josh & Rachel
Citizens buddy pair Josh and Rachel have enjoyed sharing their interests with each other. They have both had opportunities to try new things with each other and to get out of their comfort zones. Whether it be crafts, games, movies, or just hanging out by a campfire. Josh even came to support Rachel at the Best Buddies Pickleball Tournament!
Disability Awareness: Did You Know?
For Black History Month, we are honoring Black leaders in the disability rights movement whose activism helped advance progress for people with disabilities.
Brad Lomax (1950-1984) was a Civil Rights leader and disability rights activist. He brought together the two movements to present a united front in the fight for equity. Lomax participated in the 28 day “504 sit-ins” at a federal building in San Francisco. Lomax worked with the Black Panthers to cook and deliver meals to disability rights advocates during the protest. To read more about Brad Lomax’s story, click here.
Bessie Blount is known for making significant breakthroughs in assistive technologies. During WWII, Blount joined a group of volunteers who worked at military hospitals. After encountering paralyzed veterans, she decided to make it her life’s work. Blount believed it was important for people with disabilities to be able to feed themselves in order to have independence and increase their self-esteem. To do this, Blount invented a device that transported individual bites of food to the patient’s mouth. Blount’s innovation was one of the earliest forms of assistive technology for individuals with disabilities and she paved the way for many more advancements in the field. To learn more about Bessie Blount’s incredible work for the disability community, click here.
Friendship Tip of the Day
Featuring Elsa and Reilly, buddies from the U of M and SAIL Transition Program
Lend a listening ear. Sometimes we need to let friends vent without offering advice or opinions. There will be times that a friend just wants you to listen. They may want to vent about work, a family member, or a difficult day. Unless they ask for advice, people often just want someone who will listen rather than tell them what they should do.
Save the Date
Best Buddies Friendship Walk
Saturday, May 21st
Weaver Lake Park, Maple Grove
Create a team and join us at the Best Buddies in Minnesota Friendship Walk in Maple Grove! The Friendship Walk is the leading walk in the country supporting friendship and inclusion for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Be sure to follow us on Instagram and like us on Facebook to stay up to date with our virtual activities, Friendship Walk announcements, and more!
Friendship Fridays: Tag @bestbuddiesmn on social media with your favorite pictures of you and your buddies. We want to feature you on our state’s social media pages!