Alternative Events and the Power of Giving Back, By Noemi Reyes


As the spring semester continues to unravel, Best Buddies members have been busy celebrating Best Buddies month and pledging their support for Spread the Word to End the Word. Despite their busy schedules, members are always eagerly looking forward to events and chapter meetings. Chapter events are always a great time to catch up with members and have a fun time getting to know each other. Although skating trips and movie nights are always a blast, the YLC challenges Best Buddies members around the nation to plan and participate in alternative chapter events.

You may be wondering, what are alternative events? Can the entire chapter get involved?

These are great questions and we are here to give you answers!

  1. Community Clean Up Event: Help give back to your community by organizing a community clean up within your chapter. This event is a great way to keep your neighborhoods looking nice. Club members have an opportunity to socialize while making a difference. It is truly a great and inexpensive way to have fun as a chapter!
  2. Volunteer for Food Drives/Food Banks: Anne Frank once said, “No one has ever become poor by giving.” By volunteering your time to food banks and food drives you can help make a difference.
  3. Create Letters of Appreciation: Within Best Buddies there are passionate members. There are certain individuals who always work above and beyond to organize, lead and facilitate events. This could be an outstanding faculty member, a dedicated parent or even a passionate student leader. Show your appreciation by organizing a meeting to create letters of appreciation for those members who truly deserve them.
  4. Share Knowledge with Others: Chapters can volunteer to educate local elementary, middle school, high school and colleges about the disability rights movement. By educating others we can work as a club to fulfill the Best Buddies mission to empower individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  5. Donate Gently Used Toys: Many times we outgrow some of our childhood toys and never give them a second use. Club members can plan an event to collect and donate lightly used toys for children in need. These toys can be donated to hospitals, children’s homes or local daycares. Share the love by giving back to others!

The possibilities for alternative chapter events are endless. They are a great way to help empower those around you.  By giving back to your community you can truly make a difference. If you or anyone you know has participated in an awesome alternative event do not hesitate to share it with the YLC.

Best of luck,

Noemi Reyes


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