Best Buddies

Meeting with Best Buddies Chapter President Sahanya B. on April 12, 2018
Expected Attendance: 
Sahanya, Mrs. Carmen Clay.  Invited: Zac C., Aaron P., Mrs. Danna Morrison

Suggested Agenda: 
a. Chapter dues must be sent by April 15th. Mrs. Clay will be sending the funding from Service-Learning Budget with Sahanya as President.  Sahanya will apply for Allaseba funds to attend the conference.  
Invoice form  HERE
o   If paying online, go to
o   If paying by check, please follow the steps below.
§  Send the check to:
§  Best Buddies International
§  Attn: Expansion, Sam DeSpirito
§  100 Southeast Second Street, Suite 220
§  Miami, FL 33131
§  In the memo line, please put:
§  Chapter dues-“Your School Name”
b. YAC and Best Buddies connected:  Best Buddies will be a branch of YAC next year.
c. Host site: Casady (Service-Learning Program/YAC, Special Care) Sahanya will connect with Dr. Chaudry to get buddies from his teen program.  
d. Buddies have to be around the same age otherwise is a mentorship.  Buddies have to be around the same age
d. Membership updates:  Everyone interested in re-applying needs to do so ASAP or their application will be deleted from the Best Buddies files.  Sahanya will call a meeting next week to warm the people who are still interested to update their application and remain active.

Best Buddies is coming to Oklahoma in a BIG way!

Did you know that Best Buddies is the leading international organization fighting to end the physical, social and economic isolation of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD)? Working tirelessly to move the needle in the disability movement, Best Buddies programming focuses on all aspects of inclusion through one-to-one friendships, leadership development and integrated employment. While Best Buddies currently impacts the lives of over one million people with and without disabilities worldwide, there is still a long way to go!
We are excited to share with you that Best Buddies is more focused than ever on our expansion efforts. In order to truly support the needs of all communities across the country and bring forth a greater spirit of acceptance and inclusion, specific attention is being placed on states like Oklahoma that do not yet have an established office or full staff on the ground.
Playing a key role in this increased support, we are thrilled to welcome Regional Director, Emma Zagar, to our team! Emma has been working with Best Buddies for the last three years in Illinois and is excited to now work with you to increase programs and drive financial growth in your community for Best Buddies.
We look forward to exponentially growing Best Buddies programming in your state, providing more resources for individuals with IDD than ever before.  We want to open more doors for social inclusion, for competitive employment and for leadership development in Oklahoma!  BUT WE NEED YOU! 
Do have interest in serving on the Oklahoma Expansion Board or on an event committee? Do you want to start a Best Buddies chapter at your school? Have you been looking to volunteer for an organization that changes lives? Do you work for a company that is looking to increase their community involvement?
To learn more and get involved, please contact Emma Zagar at
We hope to hear from you soon and look forward to an amazing year ahead!
In Friendship,
Emma Zagar
Regional Director, National Expansion
Best Buddies International

Best Buddies International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) 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 (IDD).
Best Buddies - Expansion HQ Office
100 SE 2nd St, Suite 2200
Miami, FL 33131
Phone: (305) 374-2233
Conversation via phone with Ms. Emma Zagar on April 11, 2018.
Attendees: Emma Zagar and Carmen Clay

1. $350 covers registration of teen chapter president to National Conference which takes place at the University of Indiana in Bloomington, July 20th-23rd.  

$350 is a yearly fee because it also covers the use of resources, training materials, online communication systems, mobile app, insurance liability coverage for every student in the chapter and their buddies.  Allaseba Funds is a possibility for internal funding for Casady students.  Mrs. Clay will pay the $350 dues this year from the Service-Learning budget and will place it under advisement for future budgets, if available.

Travel expenses have to be covered by individual students although there is funding for students for whom these expenses would prohibit them from attending the conference.  It also provides insurance liability coverage for every student in the chapter and their buddies.

2. Zac had registered 16 volunteers for the academic year 2017-2018.  Sahanya has to connect with the volunteers who wish to return next year and tell them to update their application because they will be erased from the system soon as they are activated on a yearly basis.

3. The Conference has a faculty advisor track.  The cost is $350 to attend the Summer Conference and travel expenses.  Professional Development is a possibility for coverage .

4. This year, the expansion team is working on having a local training for people who cannot attend the conference.  Emma will be a resource year-round as Oklahoma is a member of the expansion team.  It will take $250,000 per year to have a chapter in Oklahoma.  Emma is working on finding a board that will finance the chapter.  Mrs. Clay will try to be a resource of local possible contacts to Emma.

5. Emma''s first goal for the Oklahoma expansion is to open two more school chapters.  Mrs. Clay will contact Heritage Hall and Oklahoma Centennial High School.

6. Emma connected Mrs. Clay with the Boston chapter where she hopes to volunteer next year/

Strategic Planning of Best Buddies 2018-2019  School Year

Reflective Report to Best Buddies Headquarters for Best Buddies 2017-2018 Chapter:

Dear Emma,
Emma Zagar
Regional Director, National Expansion
P 330.285.9399 

March is #BestBuddiesMonth! Celebrate friendship and inclusion in schools, the community and the workplace to further the disabilities rights movement. Get started today by pledging your support to Spread the Word to End the Word!  

I am pleased to hear that Sahanya B. will be leading the Casady Best Buddies chapter next year.  

Zac C. was able to bring your organization to our attention and had organizational meetings.  He also connected interested students to two organizations serving potential best buddies, Special Care and Johnson Elementary.  He joined the Special Care Youth Board and connected to Sahanya who will be a senior next year.  Sahanya has been a member of Special Care's Youth Board for several years.  She will also be one of the Co-Presidents of the Casady YAC (Youth Active in the Community).   I include in this email, Danna Morrison who has been a flexible "expert advisor" waiting for Zac directives.  

I see great possibilities for the Best Buddies Casady Chapter for next year with Sahanya and Danna.

I have been away from Casady since December.  I went on an extended leave of absence to help take care of my grandbabies in Boston.  I  am back at school for the remaining of the school year, but I am not returning to Casady. 

The reason for this letter is to let you know that I would like to help your OKC expansion team when in town or remotely if such opportunity might be available.  My personal email is  
A conversation between Sahanya and Emma on April 6th

It was great to talk with you today! I am excited for all you have planned for next year and am confident Casady is going to turn it around to have a strong chapter!!

To recap from everything we discussed:
·         I have approved your Chapter President application in BBO so you are all set here!

·         Save the date for the Best Buddies Leadership Conference taking place in Indiana from July 20th -23rd! You can find more information and register here (the ‘register’ button is towards the bottom of the page). Let me know if you have any questions about this! I will soon be sending out an email to all Chapter Presidents about registering and, as the date gets a little closer, we will have a couple LC calls to further explain what to expect.

·         Chapter dues deadline – April 15th- I went ahead and attached the invoice again here. Keep in mind that the $350 covers everything at the conference but does not include travel to and from – perhaps Casady could also help with this? If not, let me know if we need to look at some fundraising ideas!

·         Identifying a host site and host site coordinator so that we are able to make matches within the chapter- I would love to connect with the Special Care program to further discuss Best Buddies. Looking forward to hearing how your conversation goes with them!

·         Email all current members to try and get those that are not currently seniors to stay in the chapter! We will then want to recruit additional members (around 20-30 is a strong number to start with).

Thank you so much again Sahanya! I am looking forward to working with you more!! Please never hesitate to reach out with any questions.

Kind Regards,

Emma Zagar
Regional Director, National Expansion | Best Buddies International
HEADQUARTERS | 100 Southeast Second Street, Suite 2200 | Miami, FL 33131
o. 330.285.9399

March is #BestBuddiesMonth! Celebrate friendship and inclusion in schools, the community and the workplace to further the disabilities rights movement. Get started today by pledging your support to Spread the Word to End the Word!  


What is Best Buddies International?
The world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). 

Best Buddies Casady Club, OKC BB Expansion Chapter Plan for School Year 2017-2018

President: Zac C.
Vice-President: Sahanya B.  (?)
Buddy Director:
Sponsors:  Special Care Volunteer Coordinator, Mrs Danna Martin, Mrs. Carmen Clay.  Adult resource: Father Marlin

Process to Establish the Club/Chapter at Casady School.  

- Contact Special Care to check for possible best buddies and schedule on 8/2/2017.  
- Special Care Youth Board member application completed by Zac
- Update Best Buddies OKC informational brochure and application information
- Connect to interested Best Buddy Cyclones from 2016-2017.  Ask them to apply online

- Approval of applications by Zac.  Stress commitment to personal chosen meetings schedules 
***Weekly Buddies meetings required to build relationship.  Build Trust!  Avoid cancelling meetings.
***Casady School and Oklahoma City University have the only Best Buddies Clubs in OKC. 
- Visit to Special Care as a group in August or September

-Best Buddy Club/Chapter:  Who wants a buddy, who wants an office.  Sahanya as VP. Connected to YAC/ SC.
- Zac/Mrs. Martin/Special Care Volunteer Coordinator Interview buddies & peer buddies

- Match Party at Special Care
- The Club will have "relationship building and fundraising events such as bowling, gardening, rain barrel painting, etc. The Club is under the sponsorship of the Casady Service Learning Program and YAC.  

****March is Best Buddies Month.  The LD will have a Dr. Zeuss book collection for Best Buddies
- The cost of operating the club is $350 annual fee which in 2017-2018 was covered by Zac's parents
- The club has $60 for operating expenses from proceeds of Fall Fest 2016.
- Club/Chapter Officers meetings will be at the YAC Community Room.  
- Communication by Zac, via meetup. Best Buddies Club Secretary sends agenda and minutes to this blog. 
- Social Media outlets will be used to promote, share, and reflect club activities and buddy "special experiences"
- Adult site supervisor for certification of hours, if hours are desired, is the Special Care Volunteer Coordinator 

BBLC Notes
- Success within buddy pairs
- Social media
- Help people recognize the need of empathy for everyone
- Chapter advisor will be there for me
- Recognition, Order, Chaos
- Ambition, Cooperation, Support
- Commitment, Comradely, Companionship
- Optimism, Empathy, Love
- Teamwork, Helpfulness, Independence
- Happiness, Results, Kindness
- Attendance, Consistency, Passion
- Receptiveness, Guidance
- My Three: Commitment, Results, Empathy

- Themed
- Snacks
- Booth at registration
- Roxy's Ice Cream Social Pre-Match Party
- Match party
- Bowling pizza party
- Harvest Party
- Talent show
- Holiday party
- *Rest on list

Types of Meetings:
- Officer Meetings  at Casady YAC Community Room on date  and time TBA
- Chapter Meetings at Casady and Special Care  Dates, Times and Location TBA
- Chapter Activities around OKC.  Connections to YAC, STUCO, Special Care Youth Board
- Buddy Pair Meetings  Once a week at best personal time for buddies

- CP -- oversee, delegate, contact program manager & advisor
- Buddy Director -- manage communications; make sure everyone's having a good time
- VP -- support CP; plan activities
- Secretary -- takes care of BBO, take notes at meetings
- Treasurer -- in charge of money; raise funds; budget logs; plans fundraisers

- Comfort levels
- Physical or not physical
- Quiet or loud
- Favorite dessert
- Favorite color
- T-shirt size  

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