Angels Heroes

Anthony Shriver

by Nick from San Diego

My hero Anthony Shriver displays a caring attitude every day when he works with people who have disabilities. Anthony Shriver is the son of Eunice Kennedy Shriver who started the Special Olympics. Anthony comes from the Kennedy family who are a well-known American family of activists. Anthony's family traditions of helping people with disabilities are important to him therefore he started the Best Buddies non-profit organization. "Anthony Shriver is the founder of Best Buddies and it has nearly 1,500 middle school, high school and college chapters worldwide. Its eight formal programs -- Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies, Jobs, Ambassadors, and Promoters -- are reaching nearly 700,000 people with and without disabilities around the world. The organization pairs adults and young people in the community with individuals with disabilities, allowing them to forge one-on-one friendships." Anthony Shriver is a hero who shows a caring heart. He devoted his life's work to improve the quality of life for those who have special needs. He started the Best Buddies organization to give people with disabilities a sense of community, acceptance and inclusion. He wanted them to feel a part of their community by giving them social opportunities and help finding employment. There are all types of ways to volunteer in his organization. Volunteers can get an online buddy, they can be a coach at Special Olympics or an employer may like to hire someone with disabilities to work in their office.  "Without a network of friends, it's really tough to have any success in your life." Due to his own network of friends in college at Georgetown University, Shriver recognized the volunteer potential of university students and inspired his peers to expand the experiences of people with disabilities. Through his hard work, determination and his companion for people with disabilities, Anthony Shriver started the Best Buddies organization. His caring disposition is what has helped so many people with disabilities feel part of their own community. 

My hero displays his compassion everyday when he helps out others through his organization.Coming from a family of politicians and wealth, Anthony Shriver could have chosen to live off the family name and ran a big business for profit however, in following his mothers work to enhance the lives of people with disabilities and his own compassion he started Best Buddies. "Best Buddies raises more than $30 million a year in the United States and about $12 million abroad where the money stays to fund the overseas chapters. Shriver shows compassion by using his time and effort to continue the fundraising he does to keep the operation going. There are many different fundraising events worldwide. Shriver will make appearances and speak at events such as the Best Buddies Art and Friendship Auction in Miami Beach. People may wonder where the $30 million goes. The majority of the funds go to programs which develop one to one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. "Overall contributions to best buddies are judiciously spent, with the majority of these funds directly applied to the enrichment of the organization's programs. Our total annual budget demonstrates that 81% of all monetary contributions are allocated to one of Best Buddies six programmatic divisions that directly integrate people with intellectual disabilities." A selfish person, unlike Shriver, easily could have taken a large paycheck for himself if he didn't really care for the organization. Shriver allocates 5% of the organization for administration which is very important for the success of the organization. Without the funds, the clubs at schools would not be able to do all the events with their buddies and it would not make one on one friendship possible. Shriver's compassion for others is what makes this organization so successful; he genuinely cares for the wellbeing of others and the organization.

            Anthony Shriver is so inspirational in the way that he thinks of others before himself. He saw a problem with how the mentally disabled did not get to do everything they should be able to do and he decided to give opportunities to these individuals by creating Best Buddies. "I think people with disabilities have historically been left out of the process." This statement by Shriver is true; there are not enough activities and jobs in our communities for these kids and adults to participate in. People overlook these kids because they are "different" and can't talk but these kids have amazing talents that people don't realize. The Best Buddies organization which started out as a good idea for college kids to volunteer with the disabled and give them opportunities to socialize with peers that they would normally not have, has now turned into a worldwide organization. "Today, through Shriver's stewardship and entrepreneurial spirit, Best Buddies® has grown into a leading nonprofit entity with increasing international reach across six continents, 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." This reinforces the idea on how a good idea can inspire others to help spread the activities and opportunities in other countries. As a member of the Best Buddies organization myself, my hero has inspired me to do more and hopefully become the president of the club at Del Norte so that I can touched other people's lives like he's touched mine. Anthony Shriver's is my hero because he has shown how one person's kind heart, compassionate and caring personality, an idea and perseverance to make it happen, could have such a profound effect on 700,000 people with and without disabilities each year. 

Works Consulted

"Anthony Shriver on the Mission of Best Buddies." Ocean Drive Magazines RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2014



"Best Buddies International." Best Buddies International. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.


Denny, Dann. "Hundreds from Best Buddies to gather at IU this weekend." Herald-Times, (Bloomington,

IN) 19 July 2013: Newspaper Source. Web. 8 May 2014.

J.B. "City Lights: Anthony Shriver." Town & Country 151.5211 (1997): 50. Biography Reference Center. Web. 8 May 2014

Page created on 5/22/2014 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 5/22/2014 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links