Honor Rows: Best Buddies

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Presented by M&T Bank, the Baltimore Ravens and the Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism (GOSV), the Honor Rows program recognizes youth groups and organizations who provide outstanding volunteer service to their communities. Since the beginning of the partnership, M&T Bank has honored nearly 16,000 youth volunteers from a wide range of organizations through the Honor Rows program. Throughout this season, we'll be spotlighting past honorees to showcase their lasting commitment to youth volunteerism and public service.

Best Buddies pairs students with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in one-to-one friendships at 123 schools throughout Maryland. These relationships reduce social barriers and vulnerability to bullying while mitigating the damaging isolation that many students with IDD face. Through their Best Buddies experience, students with and without disabilities have an opportunity to serve in positions of leadership and are empowered to make a positive impact in their communities. The Honor Rows program has provided Best Buddies with an opportunity to recognize their student leaders for their exceptional efforts to create cultures of tolerance, inclusion and respect within their schools.

Upon the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Best Buddies' student-volunteers found creative ways to make interactive, fun and engaging virtual activities that anchor participants with and without IDD and provide a sense of normalcy. Activities such as Instagram Live baking, Zoom bingo, and Netflix movie nights help to ensure that physical distancing does not lead to social isolation. Best Buddies has demonstrated the importance of navigating challenging times with a spirit of empathy and understanding. They remind us that, together, we can emerge from the pandemic stronger and more united than ever.

M&T Bank, the Baltimore Ravens and the Governor's Office on Service & Volunteerism are proud to honor Best Buddies in Maryland and their outstanding impact in our community.

To learn more about Best Buddies in Maryland, visit: https://www.bestbuddies.org/maryland/

To learn more about the M&T Bank Honor Rows program, visit: https://www.baltimoreravens.com/community/honor-rows

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