Let's get real here… These were not your ordinary photo shoots… well they were, but the purpose behind them was a little different than just to get some family photos! I was recently nominated as a candidate for the 2014 Champion of the Year to support Best Buddies. I was challenged to raise money ($5000 was my goal I set myself) for this non-profit organization that pairs people with disabilities into one-to-one friendships with their non-disabled peers. The vision of Best Buddies is to end the social isolation of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
Helping individuals with disabilities has been a passion of mine for years. My brother has special needs and I watched him grow up without a lot of friends, but with a desire for friendship! There were a few people in high school who became genuine friends with him and these relationships transformed him and brought him out of the social isolation that he frequently felt. It would have been awesome for him to be a part of Best Buddies and have a constant friend in his life to fall his own and to have fun with.
I am now a special education teacher and I work everyday to teach my children that they are all unique and different and that everyone needs a friend, so we need to "spread the happiness" to others!
In one of my attempts to raise money for this organization, I organized a day full of mini photo shoots with all the proceeds going to Best Buddies. I was able to raise $1200 with this fundraiser alone. I would like to share some of the families that participated and helped me reach my goal.
This fundraising competition ends November 16th and we can still use your support! You can visit my Champion of the Year fundraising page, click on my name on the right and either donate or buy a ticket to attend "Party With a Purpose" There is also a silent auction that you can become involved in as well. I know there are a lot of children and their families that would be very grateful for your donation. Just remember, we all need a friend!
To sum it up… we raised a good chunk of money for a great cause and had a blast doing so… To end this post, I want to leave you with a video of my friend and her buddy…