What is Buddy Break?
Buddy Break is a free kids/respite program where kids with special needs (VIP kids) make new friends, play fun games, enjoy crafts, therapy dogs, stories, music, activities and more! Siblings have fun too! Meanwhile, their caregivers get a break from their ongoing care-giving responsibilities for three hours one Friday night or one Saturday morning a month.
Who are VIP kids?
VIPs are kids with special needs, which include any physical, cognitive, medical or hidden disability, chronic or life-threatening illness, or those who are medically fragile.
Who are Buddies?
Buddies are friends of VIPs. Buddies are volunteers with little or no previous experience who have loving hearts, open arms and want to spend time sharing these gifts with VIP kids.
is there a need for Buddy Break?
The weight and stress of finding proper doctors, teachers, and financial resources for a VIP child’s care can be overwhelming. Those responsibilities, along with the never-ending demands of daily care-giving and life in general, leave little opportunity for caregivers to take time for themselves, run errands, or spend time with a spouse or other children—things desperately needed to survive. Buddy Break provides a safe place for VIPs and their siblings to have fun and establish meaningful friendships with other kids and adults while their caregivers get a break.
Who is eligible to be a VIP?
This program is for VIP children birth ages: 2–16 years old, and their siblings: 4 years old–5th grade. Some Buddy Break locations expand their program based on their ability to serve a wider age range.
Where is Buddy Break?
Buddy Break takes place at Venice Presbyterian Church (VPC), 825 The Rialto, Venice, Florida 34285. The entire church campus is open to VIP kids and their buddies.
Buddy Break is a growing ministry to the VPC community done in partnership with Nathaniel’s Hope and local churches across the nation. Once a VIP attends orientation or a volunteer becomes an official Buddy, he or she may participate in any Buddy Break program anywhere by calling the location to make a reservation.