Help me help others | AspenTimes.com

Help me help others

I am a junior at Aspen High School and I have been fortunate enough to become acquainted with a special group of children. I have had the opportunity to work with the special education program at the high school.

I would love to give these students the opportunity to connect with other children outside their classroom. The challenges that these children face on day-to-day situations, many would probably not experience in a lifetime.

There is an international program called Best Buddies, which pairs children who have mental disabilities with their peers. “Best Buddies is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by providing opportunities for one-to-one friendships.”

It was founded in 1989, and 11 offices already exist throughout the country; however, there is not yet one in the state of Colorado. I have been speaking with Mrs. Laverne Lewis, Assistant Director of Program Expansion in Miami, Fla., and I have demonstrated my interest to her in starting a chapter of the Best Buddies program here in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Unfortunately, these international programs cost money as if operating a business. I would like to hear from people who are interested in joining me in the challenge of allowing our children in the community to experience what the Best Buddies program has to offer.

I am looking for ideas concerning the raising of money, donations or fundraising support to make the Best Buddies program a part of our Roaring Fork Valley. I will need the support of the entire community, which could extend statewide.

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Jenna Rosen

JennaRosen@aol.com