We’re stretching Valentine’s Day to cover the whole month and February is all about “things we love.” Messages are going out through our newsletter, Facebook, and Twitter channels (customer love, coffee love), but we’re using our blog for things that need a little more space. They’re worth it.
Best Buddies is an organization we’re head-over-heels in love with and are proud to support. It is the world’s largest alliance dedicated to ending the social, physical, and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Being involved with Best Buddies in a meaningful way has meant more to us as a company than we first anticipated. It’s more than just a way for us to give back to our community. It feeds our soul and connects us with people who give us as much as we give them, every single day.
Best Buddies was founded by Anthony Kennedy Shriver (Go Hoyas!), who built on the work his mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, had done in terms of public awareness about the lives, needs, and real contributions of intellectually or developmentally disabled people, at a time when society needed better understanding. Their work isn’t done. Our work isn’t done.
But Best Buddies is a leading force in making change. Starting with one chapter in 1987, Best Buddies has grown to be an international organization with almost 2,000 chapters in 54 countries, including all 50 states in the U.S. It has programs dedicated to creating friendships, meaningful work, and leadership skills. Their vision? To go out of business.
Best Buddies envisions a world where people with IDD are so successfully integrated into schools, workplaces and communities that its current efforts and services will be unnecessary. Until that vision becomes a reality, the organization will continue to educate… about the emotional, functional, and natural needs and abilities of people with IDD. Image to right: Anthony K. Shriver and Best Buddies from over 50 countries gather at a 2010 Leadership Conference.
This 60-second spot explains their friendship program.
Fazenda Coffee is proud to support fundraising events like the Best Buddies Challenge in Hyannis Port, MA, and the Friendship 5K in Lynnfield, and are honored to take part in the Best Buddies Job Program. (More about that, next time.)
The Best Buddies Challenge is a yearly two-day event that kicks off with Tom Brady’s Football Challenge at Harvard Stadium in Arlington. Our friend and customer, Steve DiFillippo of Davio’s, got us involved in the Guy Fieri Celebrity Chef Tailgate that starts out the night. A number of high caliber restaurants participate, including another great friend and customer, Flour Bakery. Steve is a big supporter and advocate of the program. We’re grateful to be included among such high quality company.
Here’s a picture of Steve and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker at Harvard Stadium during last year’s Challenge event (from Davio’s Foxborough’s Facebook page). Gov. Baker’s office might have something to say about this Boston Globe picture of a missed a catch, but he really threw himself into the game! It was a great day and a great cause. The event raised over $5 million for the organization.
You can join Team Tom Brady in support of this year’s Best Buddies Challenge, June 3–5, and have a chance to meet him, along with Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, Jerod Mayo, Nate Solder, Tedy Bruschi, and other celebrities and special athletes. Think about it football fans. Raise some money for a good cause, eat and drink the best stuff around, and hobnob with your favorite Patriots? You’ll be living the dream.
Speaking of…here’s a picture of Phil with Guy Fieri, behind the scenes.
Love can be hard work. Totally worth it.