There are 200 million people in the world living with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Recognizing a need, in 1989 Anthony Shriver, son of Eunice Kennedy Shriver (founder of the Special Olympics) started an organization while a student at Georgetown university that paired individuals with an IDD (buddies) and those without an IDD (peer buddies).
That organization has evolved into Best Buddies International, which today has nearly 3,000 chapters around the world, positively impacting the lives of 800,000 people with and without IDD. According to National Core Indicators, 84% of adults with developmental disabilities do not have a paid job in the community. Best Buddies works with companies to encourage employers to hire people with IDD. The Best Buddies Jobs program focuses on developing competitive, integrated jobs that allow participants to earn an income, pay taxes, and work in an environment alongside their peers, leading to full inclusion and independence.
Best Buddies founder Anthony K. Shriver was joined by MOD Pizza co-founder, Ally Svenson to discuss how Best Buddies has teamed up with MOD Pizza to help support their mission to end the social, physical and economic isolation of people with IDD through employment – and how they are encouraging other businesses to do the same.
For more information, visit: www.bestbuddies.org; www.modpizza.com
MORE ABOUT ANTHONY SHRIVER:
Anthony K. Shriver is the Founder and Chairman of Best Buddies International, which he created in 1989 to foster one-to-one friendships between people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Recognizing the tremendous volunteer potential of university students, Shriver first inspired his college peers to personally collaborate in expanding the realm of opportunities that persons with intellectual disabilities should experience. Today, through Shriver’s stewardship and entrepreneurial spirit, Best Buddies® has grown into a leading nonprofit entity with increasing international reach across six continents, establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A graduate of Georgetown University, Shriver has been recognized for his work on behalf of Best Buddies with diverse international accolades and honorary degrees.
MORE ABOUT ALLY SVENSON:
After founding and selling two successful businesses in the U.K. – Seattle Coffee Company and Carluccio’s Ltd. – Ally Svenson and her husband, Scott returned to their hometown of Seattle to raise their family. With four growing boys, they soon discovered a need for family-friendly dining options that were fast, healthy and affordable. Soon their entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and they began exploring ideas that combined their love of business, people and purpose to create a people-first culture where everyone could thrive. The result was MOD Pizza with the first opening in 2008 in downtown Seattle, and the “pizza with a purpose” brand grew from there. Today, MOD employs nearly 300 individuals with IDD, and continues on its mission to contribute to a more tolerant and equitable society by opening its door to people with barriers to employment – and encouraging other businesses to do the same. Ally serves as MOD’s Protector of the Purpose.
Interview Provided by: MOD Pizza