As of 2017, Autism affects 1 in 68 births, more than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder and has increased by over 119% since 2000! And about 1 in 700 babies are born with Down syndrome. That’s about 6000 each year!
As little as 30 years ago, people with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities were sent away to institutions and pretty much forgotten about by most of their families. Thankfully, this is not the case any longer. Now our special needs community is beginning to be integrated into society. Heather may work at a coffee shop, Michael may be the bagger at the grocery store, or Josh may be the groomer at the doggie daycare.
That’s where we come in. We are Able Buddies NC. We are a very small group of caring family and community members that want to make a difference in our IDD loved one’s lives. We started out in February 2017, hosting a special needs Valentine’s dance in the Topsail area of NC. Together with the help of many volunteers, we have hosted these dances every month since.
Our first dance we had about 25 attendees, and it quickly jumped to about 65! We also created a Facebook page called Special Needs Community of Onslow and Pender Counties. Ever since that first dance, we discovered that this social event was just the tip of the iceberg. We need an informational hub, a place that brings information, services, and events together in one place, for our IDD friends and family. This is why we created AblebuddiesNC.org
In July 2017 with the help of some very generous donations and lots of community support, we were able to establish Able Buddies NC as a non-profit organization. The Able Buddies NC consists of Yvette Aileen Green (President), Cindy Holcomb (Treasurer) and Kim Marie Saxon (Secretary) and committee members, Stacey Carlisle, Laura Ann Caroso, Diane Pulice Cavanagh, Colleen Kelly, Embery Moye, Lynn Moye, Kelli Knapp, Suzette Richart, Wendy Weatherington, and Julie Yates.
We are now ready to take the next big step and make this more than just a social event. We hope that we will be a beacon in the darkness, by offering support, encouragement, and information to those searching.
We thank you, for your support!
~ Able Buddies NC