Friendship enriches your life and has a major impact on your health and well-being. Friends celebrate each others successes, prevent loneliness and offer companionship. Good friends are there when life gets rough and difficult.

What about those for whom making friends is more difficult? For those that feel isolated or left out, a lack of friends can be lonely and even detrimental to your health. This is where fear comes in! For those of who easily make friends or have established relationships, it often is scary to open up to new people. Conversely, those who already lack friendships often fear facing rejection. As fearless women we can work to break that cycle and, perhaps, even find more friendship along the way!

Best Buddies Friendship program builds one-to-one friendships between people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), offering social mentoring while improving the quality of life and level of inclusion for a population that is often isolated and excluded. Through their participation, people with IDD form meaningful connections with their peers, gain self-confidence and self-esteem, and share interests, experiences and activities that many other individuals enjoy.

On Tuesday, March 12, PWMC was proud to host Michelle Dempster from Best Buddies Central Illinois as our featured speaker. If you missed us on March 12, take a moment to look through Michelle’s awesome presentation below!

Special thanks to our raffle sponsor for March, Charlene Homan writer and founder of Touchstone Storytelling which she established in 2015. Through Touchstone Storytelling she writes, edits and designs personal histories and family stories, creating custom family books. Touchstone Storytelling also recently started a series of custom adoption books.

Additionally, Charlene works as a freelance editor, book designer and business communication manager. She has worked in corporate communications, public relations and development for over 15 years.

Charlene earned a bachelor of art’s degree in English from Eastern Illinois University where she also minored in Journalism and Public Relations.

About our Speaker: Michelle Dempster

Michelle Dempster serves as the Development Coordinator for our region, building relationships and partnerships and planning our annual Friendship Walk with a committee of volunteers. Previously, Michelle served as the regional Program Manager for Best Buddies. In that role, Michelle worked directly with all of the school-based chapters throughout Central Illinois ensuring the Best Buddies mission is thriving in our communities.  Michelle is a graduate of Augustana College where she served as the Chapter President for the Best Buddies chapter on campus.  Michelle has a passion for the Best Buddies mission and is inspired by working hand-in-hand with the incredible participants and volunteers.