April 24, 2014 | Press
On Saturday, May 10, 2014, Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. (FREE) an organization that benefits and supports more than 3,500 individuals with intellectual disabilities, mental illness and traumatic brain injury, will join Best Buddies International for their annually held Best Buddies Friendship Walk at Hauppauge High School, 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
As a non profit dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for friendship, employment and leadership for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), Best Buddies has more than 1,700 chapters worldwide, 12 of which are high school programs throughout Long Island.
Focused on fostering one-to-one friendships between students with and without IDD, the Best Buddies High School Program helps students find kinship amongst one another during what is a truly important time in a young person’s life. The walk, which will include games and activities, was created in 2009 to fund more of these secondary level initiatives on Long Island.
Due to lack of funding, Best Buddies New York was forced to close the Long Island office as well as 12 Long Island Middle School chapters. The funds raised from the Long Island Friendship Walk will enabled Best Buddies to re-open a local headquarters and in doing so, directly benefit the districts on the Long Island waiting list.
Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. (FREE), a member of the Mt. Sinai High School Chapter, will have a team of both staff and individuals. In addition to FREE’s team, “Friendships are FREE”, the organization will also donate flowers grown through the FREE Saddle Rock Ranch program in Middle Island. The FREE Drumline will provide musical entertainment for walkers.