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"Be A Buddy" Initiative 

In January 2015, my husband Ted and I started our non-profit, The Parker Foundation for Autism and Child Development to provide free resources to children and families touched by autism (families like our very own!) Out of our three fully funded programs, came our "Be a Buddy" initiative - which utilizes community based volunteers to mentor children with special needs and their siblings in a variety of social, sports and art activities. What we've found is that this model, by demonstrating kindness and inclusion through volunteerism, acts as a catalyst for uniting and inspiring people worldwide; it helps reduce stigmas, and is a wonderful platform to educate about bullying prevention. 

The Parker Foundation is a "Champion Against Bullying" organization through PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center; in addition to being a role model for anti bullying behavior, we utilize their educational resources to help teach our communities tactics for combating bullying in all age groups. We host a yearly "Be a Buddy 5K" during the Fall to celebrate Bullying Prevention Month, where all participants sign our UNITY poster after taking the pledge against bullying before the start of the race. Our 2021 #BeABuddy5K will be held on October 23rd at the Space Coast Field of Dreams in Melbourne, FL. 

For more information on our programs please visit www.theparkerfoundation.com; to learn more about PACER's NBPC and how you can become a Champion Against Bullying in your community, please visit www.pacer.org/bullying

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