Below is information about Best Buddies in Washington, a chapter of an international organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one on one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

In response to our new COVID-19 social environment they are starting virtual “hang-ins”.  Here’s the information from the organization:

We will be offering weekly (to start – we may ramp it up if there is interest) virtual “hang-ins” – where we open a video conference line for 1.5 hours in the evening and anyone who wants to join can participate in some non-competitive trivia, watching YouTube cat or cute animal videos, hearing practice speeches from some of our Best Buddies Ambassadors, and just generally having the opportunity to connect with others in the community! I have the first two scheduled (see below), and we will be announcing more options for hang-ins, virtual Ambassador training, and other virtual connection opportunities on our social media pages!

For the most up-to-date information on what types of virtual friendship, engagement, training, etc. opportunities we will be providing, you can follow us on Facebook (Best Buddies Washington) and Instagram (@bestbuddieswash).

Getting connected with Best Buddies programs:

We have three major program areas in Washington right now – school friendship programs, our adult friendship program, and our Ambassadors leadership training program. I’ve outlined below how folks can learn more and get connected for all three, and attached a flyer that you can share with anyone as well!

  • School Friendship: Best Buddies school friendship programs operate as a school “club” on any given school campus. All Best Buddies school programs are student-led (by students with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities), with the support of a faculty advisor and Best Buddies staff to support with guidance. Here is the map of our current WA school programs. If anyone is interested in exploring starting a new school chapter, they can reach out to me directly –
  • Citizens Adult Friendship Program: The Citizens adult friendship program matches adults with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities, age 25+, in one-to-one friendships. We currently have 22 friendship matches in the Puget Sound region, and are growing rapidly! The first step in joining the program is complete a Membership Application:
    1. Go to
    2. In the middle of the page, there is a dropdown list with the prompt “Available Programs”. Choose “Washington: Seattle (Northwest Region) from the dropdown.
    3. At the bottom of the page, click the “Member Application” button
    4. Click Continue
    5. Complete the Membership Application prompts
  • Ambassador Leadership Development Program: The Ambassador program provides training in self-advocacy, leadership skills, public speaking, and storytelling for participants with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities! We host several Ambassador trainings throughout the year, and if anyone is interested in learning more and attending an upcoming training, they can reach out to me directly at