ACU Best Buddies is holding a prom dress and suit drive since are hosting a prom for their members on April 16.
ACU Best Buddies, founded in 2018 and recognized as an official chapter of the Best Buddies organization in 2019, was created to serve those with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Abilene community. The organization partners with local organization Daybreak Community Services to partner students with a buddy.
Grace Carriger, sophomore animal health professions major from Plano, is the president and founder of ACU Best Buddies. She said that the organization is crucial because its highlighting the importance of inclusion of everyone in society.
“ACU Best Buddies is an organization that gives the gift of friendship to people who do not really have friendships,” Carriger said. “Sadly, people with disabilities, especially adults, are ostracized and looked down upon. They are usually excluded, ignored and forgotten about in society. Best Buddies, however, is trying to normalize friendships between those with and those without disabilities and are trying to show the world that people with disabilities are just as capable of doing the same things that those without are able to.”
By hosting this prom, Best Buddies is hoping to give some of their buddies an opportunity to go to a normal prom and an opportunity many of them never truly got to experience.
“We are hosting a prom for the buddies because most people with disabilities did not go to their proms because it was not catered to their needs,” Carriger said. “We are throwing a prom for them just because we feel like they deserve that special night to dress up, to feel loved, to feel belonged, and to all be crowned kings and queens of the prom.”
Best Buddies hosts multiple events and fundraisers including last semester’s wheelchair challenge. They also host a chapel every Tuesday that’s open to all students.
Jonah Wilson, freshman business management major from Parker, Colorado, said he continues to encourage students to get involved with Best Buddies and spread kindness across campus.
“Finding any way to be kind, including other people in the world and coming to our chapel on Tuesdays, those are all ways you can get involved with Best Buddies mission,” Wilson said.