Published on April 30th, 2012 | by Angela Cotta0
Best Buddies strives to uphold the mission and the faith
Angela Cotta, Religion Editor
Pictured above: The Best Buddies chapter of Lewis visits Brookfield Zoo in March 2012.
Best Buddies is an on-campus service organization that promotes human dignity of special needs individuals. The organization pairs college students with these individuals known affectionately as “buddies” to provide them with social experiences they would not necessarily get in the homes where they live.
Lewis’ chapter of Best Buddies has hosted events such as a Halloween costume party, a shopping trip to Chicago during the Christmas season, taking the buddies to Lewis volleyball games, and most recently a trip to Brookfield Zoo. The big event each year is the Buddy Ball. The Buddy Ball is a big formal dance held off campus and gives the buddies and their partners an opportunity to dance and just have fun. At the ball there is also a silent auction to raise money for the organization.
Best Buddies is a valuable organization to Lewis University because it promotes all five parts of Lewis’ mission and it also promotes principles of Catholic Social Teaching.
Knowledge, wisdom, fidelity, justice and association are all present at the very core of Best Buddies. Knowledge and wisdom are present within both the buddies and the college students during their interactions. Fidelity is always present in that all individuals involved have faith and trust in each other. One can find the presence of justice within the organization because the buddies are being treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. The integration between buddies and college students outside of the buddies’ homes promotes the principle of integration.
Best Buddies also upholds principles of Catholic Social Teaching such as human life and dignity and solidarity. By recognizing the special gifts and talents each buddy “brings to the table”, we are acknowledging their dignity. Solidarity is present in each college student’s recognition of the buddies as their equals.
The college students that contribute to this organization are outstanding individuals. Laura Sloan, P.h.D., a professor in the Department of Education, is the moderator for Lewis’ chapter. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about Best Buddies.
Photo provided by Emily Hosbach.