By Kassidy Tsikitas | Staff Writer
Baylor’s Best Buddies chapter hosted a fundraiser on Monday, National Down Syndrome Day, to raise awareness for the Best Buddies Friendship walk, which is happening in Austin on April 25.
All proceeds will be going toward their mission of supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The fundraiser, held in Fountain Mall, consisted of the sell of items like stickers and popsicles priced at $2. Along with the purchase, the buddies and Bitty and Beau’s — a coffee shop that focuses in employing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities — employees wrote thank you letters for supporting the foundation.
On Feb. 10, Baylor Best Buddies hosted a profit share with Bitty and Beau’s collecting $117. The Baylor Best Buddies fall under the Central Texas section of the international organization, and the overall goal for the region is to raise $55,000. They have currently raised nearly $18,000.
Roswell, N.M., senior and vice president of Baylor Best Buddies, Gillian Taylor, said she encourages people to come out and support their fundraisers.
“Just a few dollars will make a difference,” Taylor said. “We’re hoping to raise as much money as we can. It goes directly to people with disabilities, and it’s such a cool mission.”
She also said developing a friendship with a buddy can be refreshing as many people may not typically interact with people with intellectual or developmental disabilities on a daily basis.
“It’s interesting to develop a relationship with someone you wouldn’t interact with every day,” Taylor said. “They’re involved in the Waco community and outside your bubble. It’s fun to get to know people you normally wouldn’t and see where your friendship takes you.”
Katy senior and president of Baylor Best Buddies Suzy Lee said the best part about being a part of the organization is spending time with buddies and participating in the fun activities.
“I think it is a great way to see what you are working towards because people forget that Best Buddies is a global organization,” Lee said. “Having events such as the friendship walk serves as a great reminder of the main goal we are reaching for.”
Lee also said she hopes to see Baylor Best Buddies help spread more awareness and continue to grow.
With the four mission pillars — One-to-One Friendships, Integrated Employment, Leadership Development and Inclusive living — the Best Buddies Foundation is helping provide an empowered future. As a result of these mission pillars, Best Buddies celebrates March by spreading the #BestBuddiesMonth.
“This month, join us as we celebrate the achievements of our participants and supporters, and continue to expand our mission globally,” their website says.
Baylor Best Buddies also works with the Waco Citizen chapter, which works with buddies 25 and older.
This is the first Friendship walk Baylor Best Buddies will be participating in. Lee said it is undecided if the organization will attend the walk in Austin because of a possible walk occurring in Waco in the future.
Baylor Best Buddies is hosting a profit share at MOD pizza all day Wednesday and proceeds will go toward their fundraising goal of $55,000.