e-Buddies: Friendships Through Technology
By Kerry MacIntosh

Have you and your parents been looking for a safe and fun way for you to make friends over the Internet? Then e-Buddies might be for you. e-Buddies is part of Best Buddies International, a nonprofit organization that provides people with mental disabilities an opportunity to develop new friendships while learning important computer skills.

How It Works

e-Buddies creates e-mail friendships between people with and without intellectual disabilities. Individuals are matched based on age, gender, and similar interests. They also encourage matches between people who live in different states. You and your parents can be confident that all applicants are carefully screened.

To participate, you must be at least 10 years old, have parental permission, and be willing to e-mail your buddy once a week. Most "buddies" enjoy the program so much they e-mail each other every day.

Currently, more than 2,500 e-Buddies exchange e-mails each week. e-Buddies is eager to make that number grow. The organization especially needs more male volunteers but invites all to take part in this very special initiative.

"My e-Buddy and me, we are learning that we are a lot alike," said Robert Plante, a Special Olympics athlete. "He might not have known an athlete like me before, but now I think he thinks of me like any other friend. And I am."

For more information please visit www.ebuddies.org.