The Friendship Circle is a non-profit organization that addresses the challenges facing the families of children with special needs in a novel and innovative way.
The program begins with the pairing of local teenagers with children for weekly "Friends at Home" visits, but hardly ends there. Through a full range of activities and events, the Friendship Circle creates its own special environment of friendship and love.
Why is our program unique?
While many organizations address the issues of children with special needs, most are focused on goal-oriented therapeutic care. The Friendship Circle brings another dimension - unconditional love. By having this love flow from the youthful spirit of well-guided teenagers, its effectiveness has proven to be remarkable. These volunteers have been able to reach the children in ways that professionals, or even family members, have not.
Furthermore, the program has had a profound effect on the teenagers themselves, instilling within them the values of giving and gratitude.
Our Mission Statement:
The Friendship Circle's mission is to bring friends and smiles to children with special needs and peace of mind to their parents; to foster the values of volunteerism and compassion among our youth; and to ultimately realize the community's responsibility for its members with special needs.
The Friendship Circle touches so many . . .
The child with special needs looks forward to weekly visits from his or her teenage friends, as well as the special events they get to attend throughout the year.
The teenage volunteer learns the value of giving, and cherishes the experience of making a difference in a child’s life. Without exception, the teenager gives of his or her time lovingly, never grudgingly.
The child’s family gets much needed respite and the pleasure of seeing their child become part of the community. They also get to share and interact with others facing circumstances and challenges similar to their own.
The supporter provides the wherewithal for the Friendship Circle to exist. By observing the very obvious difference the program is making to so many lives, supporters of the Friendship Circle make the smiles of these special children their own.
The staff is a team of leaders and professionals for whom the Friendship Circle is a labor of love. Be it through working with the children, teenagers and parents; or planning the various activities; these dedicated men and women are the driving force behind the program.
" The true beauty of the Circle is how we all link together
to form a seamless circle of friendship."