Best Buddies participate in virtual Friendship Walk

Best Buddies host NOVA Friendship Walk


#MyWalkForInclusion- sophomore Estelle Harnisch displays her support for the virtual walk. She attended the virtual walk, and then shared her support on their Instagram account dedicated to positivity.

Makda Bekele, Reporter

Imagine hundreds of friends smiling, dancing and walking, just spreading the idea of inclusion and acceptance. Now imagine that taking place on the closest screen available to you. The nonprofit international organization Best Buddies turned that into reality by hosting a virtual Friendship Walk on Oct. 31 to get students and their buddies hyped up for a spooky get-together. With about 500 people tuning in from all over Northern Virginia, people were able to show their support, for whatever they were walking for.

“Walk for Best Buddies, walk for your health, walk for whatever you want,” said founder and chairman Anthony Shriver during the opening meeting.

You can walk anywhere, and even share your progress in the comments of the Best Buddies’ Facebook and Instagram platforms.

“In previous years, of course, it was more communal and connecting,” sophomore Charlotte Carson said. “But a ‘virtual walk’ has it’s benefits too. We all tagged #MyWalkForInclusion, so people all over Facebook and Instagram would know what was happening.”

Best Buddies focuses on inclusion. By uplifting and connecting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), participants can aid the organization in creating personal friendships, employment opportunities, and leadership development skills. These experiences happen throughout the year, though, so the Friendship Walk was a kickstart to a whole new perspective.

“This friendship walk is all about showing your support for the ideas of connection and community. All we really want is for you to feel good about helping others, in many unique ways. It’s a win-win situation after all,” sophomore Taylor Coburn said.

The Friendship Walk video, featured on Instagram and Facebook, consisted of different state directors of the organizations, as well as some buddies with IDD. They shared why they each wanted to walk, which included reasons like thanking the organization for the friends they’ve made, and for buddies that are graduating and in need of jobs.