MIAMI, July 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Anthony Kennedy Shriver, the Founder and Chairman of Best Buddies International, is pleased to announce that Carlos Slim, through Fundacion TELMEX, has committed $2 million USD as a leadership gift in support of the organization's upcoming Momentum Campaign.
Best Buddies (www.bestbuddies.org), which was founded by Shriver in 1989, is a nonprofit dedicated to 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.
"I recall with affection first meeting both Anthony and his indefatigable mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, close to 10 years ago in Mexico City," said Slim. "I was immediately impressed and captivated by their passion to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and I subsequently am proud to count myself as a long-term and enthusiastic supporter of Best Buddies' exemplary global efforts to provide mentoring, employment and leadership development opportunities for individuals with special needs. I am delighted that my gift will further assist Best Buddies in advancing its ambitious, yet highly meaningful, goals during the next few years."
Mr. Slim's generous grant will enable Best Buddies to expand its existing programs in Mexico and support pilot programs in other Latin American countries. Through Fundacion TELMEX, he has sponsored Best Buddies Mexico since it was founded in 2003.
"Since 2003, Fundacion TELMEX, through its Programa de Salud y Nutricion, has supported Best Buddies Mexico and the integration of people with disabilities into general Mexican society," said Arturo Elias Ayub, Director General of Fundacion TELMEX and a Best Buddies International Board Member. Best Buddies Mexico supports friendship programs between young people with intellectual disabilities and students at Mexican high schools and universities. In 2010, the foundation supported 1,660 participants, and since the program was founded in 2003, more than 5,000 participants have benefited from our friendship programs. But, there are many more that need our help in Mexico and throughout the region. We hope this grant will promote additional support for the Momentum Campaign and help us reach so many more of our special friends."
Best Buddies' Momentum Campaign is being developed with the goal of raising $15 million by 2015 to support and expand the organization's programs and technological outreach in the United States and abroad. The campaign will officially launch in the near future.
"I am most grateful to Carlos Slim and Arturo Elias for their historic leadership gift to our Momentum Campaign," said Shriver. "This support will allow us to increase our outreach to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Mexico and help us establish our programs of friendship and employment in other countries in the region. For many years, Carlos Slim has been a great friend to me and Best Buddies. I am thrilled by such incredible generosity and such a great gesture of confidence in Best Buddies. I hope Carlos' leadership will inspire others to give."
About Best Buddies International
Best Buddies® is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to 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. Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant organization that has grown from one original chapter to almost 1,500 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Today, Best Buddies' seven formal programs – Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies® , Jobs and Ambassadors – engage participants in each of the 50 states and in 50 countries, positively impacting the lives of nearly 700,000 people with and without disabilities around the world. As a result of their involvement with Best Buddies, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities secure rewarding jobs, live on their own, become inspirational leaders, and make lifelong friendships. For more information, please visit www.bestbuddies.org or www.bestbuddies.org.mx.
About Fundacion TELMEX
TELMEX Foundation is a non-profit philanthropic institution created in December 1995. It promotes nation-wide high-impact programs focusing on social welfare. The Foundation contributes to tackle structural problems that afflict the most vulnerable sectors of society in areas such as education, health, justice, and natural disaster relief. In addition to this, the Foundation provides support to permanent programs devoted to culture, human development and sports, for the benefit of the Mexican population in all ages of life. For more information, please visit www.fundaciontelmex.org.
For additional information on, or to join the Momentum Campaign, please contact: John M. Carlin at JohnCarlin@BestBuddies.org
SOURCE Best Buddies International