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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Warming hearts around the community

Sophia+Senior+%E2%80%9827+and+students+in+Wofford+Companions+work+with+special+needs+individuals+in+the+community.+Wofford+Companions+holds+multiple+events+throughout+each+semester.
Margeaux Stapleton
Sophia Senior ‘27 and students in Wofford Companions work with special needs individuals in the community. Wofford Companions holds multiple events throughout each semester.

Special needs adults come to Wofford to enjoy an event full of acceptance, creativity, and full hearts.

It’s their favorite time of the month, and it’s all thanks to the organization Wofford Companions.

Wofford Companions is a club that aims to create an inclusive and joyful environment for special needs individuals from around the community.

They come to campus to enjoy themselves as well as socialize with others.

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Wofford Companions  was formed eight years ago and has been growing ever since.

Currently in the organization, there are about 15 active companions, or special needs individuals and even more that are enrolled in the program.

There are over 140 Wofford students serving as volunteers for the club.

There are monthly events for Wofford Companions, with many events surrounding holidays. Some of these events include trick-or-treating, a Thanksgiving feast, a December holiday party, an Easter egg hunt and a Valentine’s Day event.

Outside of those holiday events, they host a back-to-school dance, ice cream social, bowling and movie nights.

Margeaux Stapleton ‘26 and Claire Taylor ‘26 both joined Wofford Companions last year as first-year students.

They were introduced to this club at the annual interest fair and were both drawn to it immediately.

Taylor, current vice president for Wofford Companions, says she has always had a strong passion  for serving special needs individuals,  starting with her experiences in high school. She participated in a club called Best Buddies as a high school student  and knew she wanted to continue to partake in special needs focused clubs in college.

Stapleton, current president of Wofford Companions,  has always been drawn to the special needs community as well, serving the special needs community with her church.

“I think the Wofford students (that attend meetings) get filled up more than the companions do because they get to come and feel like they are making a difference,”  Stapleton said.

“Wofford Companions gave me an outlet to really be joyful and really engage in the community in a different way – outside of just interacting with Wofford students,” Taylor said. “I think we can get so wrapped up in the Wofford bubble and what’s going on at Wofford that it’s easy to not think about all the different people who live in the Spartanburg community, so it has opened many doors for me and how I share myself with others.”

Taylo  recalled a meeting where one of the companions was celebrating his birthday.

She said that she had never seen him so excited and that he was so grateful that he got to share his birthday with the new friends that he made through Wofford Companions.

Wofford Companion events and meetings give the companions an opportunity to express their creativity and feel comfortable being themselves. They get to express themselves and what they love, whether that is dressing up, doing karaoke or coloring.

Everyone is welcome at Wofford Companions and it is guaranteed that you will leave every event with a full heart.

For more information on how to join, contact Stapleton or Taylor and follow @woffordcompanions on Instagram.

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Blythe Jowers, Contributing Writer
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