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BUDDY UP FOR LIFE, INC.


Who We Are: Buddy Up for Life, Inc. (BUFL) improves the lives of individuals with Down syndrome in 12 states and 30 cities by providing a best-in-class, structured, and fun environment where our students and athletes can grow physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually We create positive change, impact lives, and foster lifelong relationships. BUFL is more than just a set of programs– we are a movement that utilizes tennis, fitness, learning, and fun to make strides for the Down syndrome community nationwide.


What We Do: We began to impact lives of individuals with Down syndrome in Columbus, Ohio in 2008 when our founder’s son was three years-old and wanted to play tennis like his brother. That moment was the catalyst for our methodical expansion over the past 16 years in Columbus and nationwide. We are nationally recognized as the leader in impacting the lives of individuals with Down syndrome. Our programs include Life Skills (Communication, Finance, Technology, & Cooking ), Daily Functional Skills for Independent L iving , Friendship Connections, Summer Camp, Pickleball, Tennis, Fitness, and Virtual Zumba. Within each of our programs, participants are partnered with a buddy volunteer to maximize their experience.


Why We are Important: We change the expectations and lives of everyone connected to our programs. BUFL is the only organizations in the country that provides best-in-class programming on a weekly basis in a variety of disciplines. By way of example, our Life Skills programs in Columbus are specifically designed to educate individuals with Down syndrome to live independently through practical educational content in areas such as communications, cooking, and finance. We also offer many other programs almost every day of the week. Because we provide our programs on a recurring basis, there is a greater chance for skill retention and advanced secondary programs.


How We Impact the Community: We embrace what it means to live with Down syndrome. Through the support, encouragement, and peer-to-peer engagement provided by our community partners and corporations, teachers, buddy volunteers, and families, we help our participants create and learn to live a life that redefines expectations and breaks traditional boundaries. The benefits from our programs carry over into the community by way of our participant’s social circles, achievements at school and work, and family life. Our buddy volunteers come from all over the community, including local businesses, high school students, teachers, college clubs and sports teams, and elsewhere.


How You Can Help:

  • Anyone fourteen years and above can volunteer to join us. Visit our website at buddyupforlife.org/become-abuddy to learn about our weekly opportunities.

  • Attend our magical annual benefit Gala on February 24, 2024, at Kemba Live for an extraordinary evening.

  • Pick your favorite stick: grab your tennis racquet, pickleball paddle or golf club to participate in our annual Swing for Success fundraising event at the New Albany Country Club on June 17, 2024.

  • Support our mission by donating.

  • Follow us on social media and share with your friends.


Buddy Up for Life, Inc.

8000 Walton Parkway, Suite 208, New Albany, OH 43054

614-579-8808


Executive Director: Beth Gibson

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