Earlier this week (Apr. 9) hundreds of local residents walked through Crossgates Mall in an effort to support social inclusion through the Friendship Walk, raising over $150,000 dollars in donations.

Getty Images for Blushington

More than 1,200 people came out for the annual Friendship Walk which was sponsored by Best Buddies New York. The purpose of the Friendship Walk is to create friendships, as well as integrate employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Nicole Burch, area director spoke on why events such as the Friendship Walk are so important to our community and why Best Buddies is a wonderful opportunity for all to take part in. “What's amazing about Best Buddies is that somebody can become involved in one of our programs in middle school, they can do it in high school, they can do it in college, and they can continue being involved with Best Buddies, even when they're an adult,” said Nicole Burch. “We have got so many people here from so many different age groups, and I think that's what makes this such an amazing community event.”

It’s always an amazing thing when we can give back to our community and to help everyone feel as important as they should. Events like the Friendship Walk allows us to show people with disabilities that they are celebrated, and that they are surrounded by nothing but support and love from friends and family. If you missed it this past weekend, don’t hesitate to visit their website and see what others things you can do to be involved with a wonderful movement like Best Buddies.