Throughout my years at Bethel, there is a program that has become very near and dear to my heart. College Buddies is a program where the Bethel College SCAN program pairs up with the Harvey-Marion County CDDO (Community Developmental Disability Organization). Once a month, Bethel students meet with adults who have developmental disabilities in the Bethel College Mennonite Church basement for an evening of socializing, laughing, doing crafts or games, and eating snacks. We also work to break stereotypes that are associated with developmentally disabled people.
As a freshman and sophomore, I participated in College Buddies (then called Circle of Friends), and after two years I was asked to be the leader of the group. I am so passionate about this program. I love it’s mission. I love the college students that are willing to give up an evening out of their busy schedule. I love the community members that come with smiles on their faces and stories to share. I love how these people look forward to this day for an entire month, just as I do. I love their hugs and handshakes. It is an incredible program and an amazing way for Bethel College to reach out to the community.
Last Thursday was our first meeting of the year. We did some get to know you activities, created acrostic poems with our names, and had snack. I think a good time was had by all. Other activities this year will include pumpkin decorating, a Holiday Bash, Valentine’s crafts, a newspaper fashion show, and a Bingo night.