Founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Best Buddies is an international 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement for social inclusion that creates opportunities for one-on-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Best Buddies has over 1,500 middle school, high school, college, community citizens, and jobs chapters worldwide. CofC’s chapter focuses on 1:1 friendships between our college students and members of the Charleston community with disabilities. It is also our mission to raise awareness about social stigmas against the special needs community. Our chapter was honored as one of the "Outstanding Chapters of the Year" in 2014 and 2016 by Best Buddies International and we hope to continue the growth and success of our chapter for years to come.


Students of any age, year, and major are welcome to join!


*Members are required to attend all chapter functions. (view calendar)

  • Peer Buddy: A student who commits to a one-to-one friendship with a person in the Charleston community with an intellectual or developmental disability - a "buddy" - for one academic year.
    • Expected to contact their buddy weekly (at minimum)
    • Expected to spend time with their buddy 2-3 times per month (at minimum)
      • Attendance at chapter events, although required, also fulfills this requirement.
    • Average monthly time commitment: 8 hours.

  • Associate: A student who is not committed to a one-to-one friendship, but participation is focused almost entirely on attendance at chapter functions.
    • Average monthly time commitment: 6 hours.

BUDDY Membership:

  • Buddy: Someone in the Charleston community with an intellectual or developmental disability who commits to a one-to-one friendship with a CofC student for one academic year and attends chapter events.

    • ​​Average monthly time commitment: 8 hours.


  • Volunteer: This option is best suited for college students with less time to commit. This will allow one to be involved at his or her leisure, as time is permissible, but still reap the benefits of being involved with this organization.
    • While greatly appreciated, we are unable to recognize students with "volunteer" status as members.
    • Average monthly time commitment: 2 hours.

Membership type may change once per member per semester, subject to approval from the Executive Board. The Executive Board also reserves the right to change the membership status of students at any time within reason.