What is Buddy Break?

Buddy Break is a free kids/respite program where children with special needs (VIP kids) make new friends, play fun games, enjoy crafts, therapy dogs, stories, music activities, and more!  Siblings have fun too!   Meanwhile, their caregivers get a break from their ongoing care-giving responsibilities for three hours. Buddy Break is open to Hillside Church members and non-church members with VIP kids. Each VIP kid is paired one-on-one with a screened volunteer "Buddy" to participate in that day's activities.

Buddy Break is a ministry of Nathaniel’s Hope. For more information on this national program, visit their website.


Buddy Break 2019 Calendar

Buddy Break meets the third Saturday of each month, from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm.

July - no Buddy Break
Aug. 17
Sept. - no Buddy Break
Oct. 26 (note change of date from third Sat.)
Nov. 16
Dec. 21

Jan. 19
Feb. 16
March 16
April 20
May - no Buddy Break
June 15


Buddy Break FAQ

Who are VIP kids?

VIPs are kids with special needs, which include any physical, cognitive, medical or hidden disability, chronic or life-threatening illness, or those who are medically fragile.

Who are Buddies?

Buddies are friends of VIPs.

How do I sign up to be a VIP?

Hillside Church provides Buddy Break for VIP children ages: 2-16 years old, and their siblings, 4 years old to 5th grade. 

To sign up for the program as a VIP:

1) Go to www.BuddyBreak.org and complete the secure online VIP Family Information form.  If you have any siblings that you’d like to have attend Buddy Break, fill out the Sibling form too.

2) Contact us to reserve your space at a required VIP orientation (contact information is below). This allows us to meet you and your children and may give you a chance to see Buddy Break before you begin participating.

3) Prior to orientation: print and complete the following forms.  We will have a notary at orientation to notarize them for you.
Authorization Release Form (Please complete one for each VIP and Sibling attending Buddy Break.)
Declaration of Consent Form (Please complete one for each VIP and Sibling attending Buddy Break.)

4) Once you have signed up for the program and gone through orientation, you’ll need to make a reservation for each month that you want to attend Buddy Break. Space is limited and pre-registration is required, so register early!

To make a reservation for our upcoming Buddy Break as a VIP, email or call the church office, 952-831-5050.

How do I sign up to be a Buddy?

No previous experience with VIP kids is necessary to be a Buddy, just a loving heart, open arms, and a willingness to learn. You must be at least 14 years of age and you will be trained through a two-hour Buddy Training 101 class.  You will also agree to have a background check run on your information.

 To sign up as a Buddy:

1) Go to www.BuddyBreak.org and complete the secure online Buddy form.
2) Contact us to schedule a visit or reserve your space at a mandatory Buddy Training 101 class.

To make a reservation for our upcoming Buddy Break as a Buddy, email or call the church office, 952-831-5050.


Buddy Break Contact Information: 

Amanda Salovich
Hillside Church Buddy Break Coordinator
buddybreak@hillsidemn.org

Deb Nutting
Director of Children’s Ministries, Hillside Church
(church) 952-831-5050; contact

To find other upcoming Buddy Break dates and locations, click here or contact Nathaniel’s Hope at 407-857-8224