Community Gym Buddies

What is Gym Buddies?

  • A Friendship Program
  • Matches adults with and without developmental disabilities in one-to-one friendships
  • Helps put an end to the social isolation that many individuals with disabilities face and provides increased connection to the community


  • Participants commit to at least a one-year friendship
  • Get together in person for two to four hours per month
  • Maintain weekly contact (phone, email, social media, etc.)
  • Participate in quarterly large group events with other Citizens buddy pairs (optional)


  • By spending time with one another, the lives of both individuals are enhanced through mutually-enriching friendship
  • Everyone involved with the program learns to see the world from a brand-new perspective, becoming more understanding, patient and accepting of others within society

Participation Requirements:

  • Must be over the age of 18
  • Have a genuine interest in forming a new friendship
  • Submit a completed membership application and referrals
  • Complete a criminal background check
    • Required for individuals with and without disabilities
    • All participants must have clear background screenings in order to be matched or attend Best Buddies Citizens Program events
  • Be or become a member of the Carle Health & Fitness Center

Matches – the Program Attempts to Match Individuals Who:

  • Are ideally of the same gender
  • Are ideally of similar ages
  • Share common interests
  • Live or work in close proximity to each other