Maggie Bond is familiar with the challenges people with intellectual and developmental disabilities face.
She is a quadruplet, and two of her three brothers are on the autism spectrum.
"Going to school with them, I got to work with one of my brothers, and seeing the different disparities in that community, growing up, seeing the isolation. Something wasn't right with that treatment," Bond said.
That's why Bond is on the advisory board of Best Buddies in Oklahoma, a local chapter of an international organization that has a very simple concept; be a buddy.
It pairs people with and without intellectual disabilities.
"It's really important for them to create these one-to-one friendships which is where the heart of the organization really comes from,” Bond said. “There's not enough money in the world that you can put on connecting a human to another human."
Best Buddies also offers job placement programs and has established chapters in local schools and colleges.
One of the main objectives for Best Buddies in Oklahoma is to partner with more organizations that help those in the IDD community, like Not Your Average Joe.
They also want to expand into more Oklahoma schools.
May 22 is an important day for the group.
A Friendship Walk in Tulsa will mark their first in-person event since starting the Oklahoma chapter during the pandemic.
Their goal is to make connections and raise $15,000 for local programs.
"We just want everyone to know we're here. Along with all the fun that is going to be had at this event, we are also going to make sure that everybody is aware of our mission of inclusion," Bond said.
You can find more information on the walk and how to be a buddy at bestbuddies.org/oklahoma
You can also email the group's Director of Mission Advancement Kirsti Ellard at email@example.com