The weekly friends @ Home program, the acclaimed hallmark of The Friendship Circle, has teenage volunteers spending quality time with children with special needs in the environment the kids are most comfortable and familiar with: their own homes.
Finally, enthusiastic play dates for these most deserving kids! A unique bond is established between the volunteers and their special friends. The range of activities shared can be anything from cookie baking, game playing, and singing to arts n' crafts, story time, and hide-and-seek, or, just about anything fun! Parents speak glowingly of how the children look forward to these visits; how they excitedly sit at the window on "Friends at Home Day" in anticipation of their buddies showing up at the doorstep - not to mention the welcome break and joy it brings the rest of the family. There are no fees for participating in this program.
Sunday Circle is a monthly program geared toward our younger members. Children ages 12 and under buddy-up with teen volunteers to participate in activities highlighted by games, stories, music, refreshments and more. Each month features a different form of interactive entertainment, such as: Drum Circle, Bubble Mania and animal exhibits. Sunday Circles are mostly held at The Friendship Circle center, though other community facilities are periodically used as well. There are no fees for participating in this program.
A birthday celebration is one of those singular opportunities in the life of a child where friends come together in delight to crown him or her center of the universe, a celebration of past accomplishments that help build an anticipation for the future.
Thanks to The Friendship Circle's Birthday Club, the circle of friends who party with children with special needs on their big days has been considerably widened - in the most beautiful way. On or around their special day, their Friendship Circle buddies show up at the door with cake and candles, party favors, and a handpicked present adorned with an elegant birthday certificate. King or queen for the day indeed - Friendship Circle Style! There are no fees for participating in this program.
Volunteer Meetings and Trainings
Volunteer Meetings and Trainings are opportunities for all volunteers to hear from professionals in the special needs field on a wide range of topics. The volunteers are encouraged to ask questions and engage in interactive discussion. Examples of topics are: How to Be a Friend to a Child with Special Needs, Reinforcing and Encouraging Your Friends, Self Awareness and Safety. Meetings are moderated by volunteer professionals and are held at The Friendship Circle offices on the first Monday of every month; 6:30-7:30PM. There are no fees for participating in this program.
Parent informational workshops on currents topics for parents of FC members to interact with professionals and parents working in the special needs field. Topics vary from Assessments and IEPs, to Special Needs Planning and Trusts... Services, Transition and Housing, Government benefits, Investment and Insurance strategies, and more!