It’s been an eventful 3 months in Playing for Others’ Buddy Program! From our very first Buddy Event on
August 20th to our most recent Friend Date on Sunday, it’s clear that this season has some magic within it.
Every new season with Playing for Others brings new families, new events, new ideas and new friendships. We’ve eaten snowcones at W.R. Davie park, become scientists at the Discovery Place and put our creativity to work at ImaginOn. We’ve watched movies and gone bowling. We’ve written letters and texted with friends. So far, our season has been full of new connections that just grow stronger at each event!
Our Buddy Program has slowly but surely created a beautiful community full of teens, buddies and family members fully invested in inclusion, creativity and a pure enjoyment of time spent together.
At all events, I see teens finding the value in patience and the joy in the experience when they connect with their buddies in new, unexpected ways. I see buddies step up and try new things, supported by new friends. I see Buddy parents sharing resources, experiences, and ideas. I see families spreading the word about Playing for Others and the Buddy Program. And coolest of all, I get to see the excitement shown by all for friendships that grow and continue to blossom.
While I’ve seen many awesome things so far, one of my most favorite was captured through the eyes of one of our PFO Buddy Parents at our first Buddy Event:
“I feel compelled to thank you and the PFO family for what you do. Sunday was so moving for me. The intentionality and planning of the event, yet unscripted and impromptu dance party and sing along, moved me to tears. I watched Victoria, Dominique and Kendal unabashedly and freely express themselves without fear, doubt or shame. While Kendal can be tentative in certain settings, she’s never been that way at PFO. PFO events has become the highlight of Kendal’s activities. She grins from ear to ear the entire event, and I’m constantly shown that there are caring and compassionate people in this world who love my disabled child unconditionally and without limits. It’s a small bit of love at its finest; it’s a place where you are celebrated just as you are. It absolutely melts my heart to be part of this group, and for that, I thank you!”
We’ve had a powerful start to our year and I really can’t wait to see the next 5 months unfold. Stay tuned as we explore music, theatre, the visual arts and community service!
In kindness & joy,