By Cameron Deckman
Making friends can be hard for many people. Getting to know them, talk to them and hang out with them can prove to be tough. It can be especially hard for students who have special needs, but it doesn’t have to be.
At Delta High School, and many other schools, there’s an after-school program called Best Buddies. This is an international non-profit organization that aims to help kids that have a hard time making friends.
“It gives them a chance to socialize, which they don’t typically get,” said special needs teacher and Best Buddies sponsor Miss Amanda Lewis, a teacher at Delta Middle School.
Best Buddies only has at most 15 volunteers, which is the lowest number in the history of Best Buddies at Delta.
“There are a lot more kids there than volunteers so we need more help,” freshman Ruth Sherck said.
This is a problem, but anyone can join. Those interested in joining can message Amanda Lewis or Emily Tressler via email.
During Best Buddies, members form groups based on similar interests and play games or do other activities. Members are encouraged to hang out during meetings and outside of them, too.
Anyone can join Best Buddies as it’s an easy way to make friends.
On Feb. 9, Best Buddies went to Reality Bytes, a virtual reality business in Muncie, to play games. As they played games freshman Colin Vance cheered everyone on. Laughter and smiles were everywhere.
“[When I’m at Best Buddies] I’m not thinking about how I have an essay due the next day or I have a lot of homework,” Bunch says. “It just makes me live in the moment and enjoy my time hanging out with the kids there.”
In past years, Best Buddies would meet most often inside the school. However, after a t-shirt fundraiser helped raise money, gatherings now are held at more places out of the school.
The president of Best Buddies, Kelsey Vest, is a sophomore who has been in the group since her freshman year. Being in Best Buddies has helped Vest figure out what she plans to do in her future. She plans on working in special services after her schooling.
During October 2022, Best Buddies met at a Hampton Inn in Muncie Ind. for a Halloween party. Vest found the party fun because everyone dressed up, and let their genuine personality shine through.
Freshman Jordan Bunch found it as an eye-opening experience. She didn’t know anyone there, but the buddies wanted to be around her. They were eager to be friends with anyone even if they knew nothing about them.
“Once they get to know you they will come and hug you everytime they see you,” Vest said.
Best Buddies does many activities. Some of these include:
– Dairy Dream
– Yard games
-Minute to win it games at the middle school
Even with the shortage of volunteers the buddies will still meet. The buddies will still make friends, and have a good time.
“It’s a fun experience come try it out,” said junior Ridge Dishman.