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About e-Buddies

"My e-Buddy and me, we are learning that we are a lot a like. He might not have known an athlete like me before, but now I think he thinks of me like any other friend. And I am."

- Robert Plante, Special Olympics Athlete

What is e-Buddies?

e-Buddies is one of the eight programs offered by Best Buddies International. e-Buddies is an e-mail pen pal program that provides opportunities for e-mail friendships between people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their peers who do not have IDD.

e-Buddies is a fun and safe way to make a new friend. Each participant is matched in a one-to-one e-mail friendship, and matched pairs are asked to exchange e-mails once a week for at least one year. Matches are made based on similar age, gender, geography (i.e. participants will NOT be matched with someone from the same state/province), and shared interests.

We fully appreciate the risks involved with online communication. For that reason, we employ a multi-layered approach to minimize risk and ensure the safety of our participants.

e-Buddies is open to anyone with an e-mail address who is 10 years old and up. All participants join via our online application. Participants with IDD can sign up individually, or in groups through a special education class or a support service agency. e-Buddies is ALWAYS free of charge for participants with IDD.

e-Buddies provides individuals with IDD an opportunity to develop new friendships while acquiring much needed computer skills. For volunteers, e-Buddies is a unique opportunity to change a life and make a friend. The benefits of that are immeasurable.

To get started and join e-Buddies, please click here to access our online application. For more specific information on e-Buddies and how it works, please visit our Resources section.

What is Best Buddies?

Best Buddies International is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant, international organization that has grown from one original chapter to more than 1,400 college, high school and middle school campuses across the country and internationally. Best Buddies programs engage participants in each of the 50 United States. We have accredited international programs on six continents with additional country programs under active development.

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