The Friendship Circle is a program that involves teenagers in helping children with special needs and their families. Children with special needs may suffer from loneliness in addition to their handicaps. They could have the best professional help (doctors, social workers, etc.) but they don’t necessarily have friends!
They don’t attend regular social gatherings like most, and their classmates can’t interact with them in the same way as most children. They may be missing extra attention, love and friendship from friends and people in their community. The Solution is the Friendship Circle. The Friendship Circle provides assistance to families with physically or intellectually challenged children.
The Circle’s unique formula introduces teenage volunteers to the children and through shared experiences both are enriched.
The Friendship Circle is made up of five parts: volunteers, children, parents, staff, and supporters. The true beauty of the circle is how we all link together to form a seamless circle of friendship. Together, we can perform miracles!
The Friendship Circle touches so many in our community: The child with special-needs looks forward to weekly visits from his or her teenage friend, 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 while bringing a smile to his or her face. 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.
* A Division of Chabad Lubavitch of Ft. Lauderdale