FRIENDSHIP CIRCLE SD INC

Rating: 4.96 stars   48 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth

Location: 16934 Chabad Way Poway CA 92064 USA

Mission: The Friendship Circle's mission is to provide families who have children, teens, and young adults with special needs a full range of social and recreational experiences. At its heart is the belief that every individual, regardless of ability, can be a productive member of the community and benefit from the social support offered by one's peers. We hope that someday people with special needs will be fully included in society, replacing social isolation, bullying, and loneliness with acceptance, participation, and friendship. The Friendship Circle in San Diego held its first event in 2005, welcoming more than 20 program participants, their families and volunteers. Since then, Friendship Circle has grown to over 200 teen volunteers, 30 college-age volunteers, and 100 professional adult volunteers and serves over 100 families who have members with special needs. While medical research is finding cures for disease, the prevalence of disabilities is increasing.  Society is struggling to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities and there has been real progress.  The Americans with Disabilities Act, mainstreaming of students in classrooms, government agencies and national non-profit organizations are all working hard to level the playing field through legislation, funding, and health services.  But friendship is not on their “to do” list.  For The Friendship Circle, it is the ONLY thing on the “to do” list.
Results: We increase social skills and self-esteem of participants through one-on-one sessions with typically developing teens in the following activities: Friends@Home programs, Monthly Yoga Classes, Teen, Women's and Men's Clubs, Outings such as horse-back riding, Boomers, hiking, picnics, etc.
Target demographics: Children, teens, and young adults with developmental and other disabilities and their families living in San Diego County.
Direct beneficiaries per year: In the last seven years, over 300 families with children with special needs and 500 families of volunteers, for a total of over 2,000 people, have been involved with the Friendship Circle.
Geographic areas served: San Diego County
2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 20-3472700
858-487-4879
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Community Reviews

Rating: 4 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I have found it very rewarding to help Friendship Circle. I was asked to play the guitar for some of their events. I saw so many children enjoying themselves at a number of activities on different days. Their parents seemed very happy too. I also have a teenage daughter who volunteered and it was a very valuable experience for her too. She may major in special education now.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very dedicated and sensitive to the needs of the children with special needs

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-5-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Friendship Circle does not only help people in obvious need. My children attend FSC's events with pride and always looking forward to the next event. I am in awe to witness how the devoted volunteers love, care, give warmth and supporting hands to the ones who need it. I am extremely grateful to Friendship Circle to introduce and teach unconditional acceptance to all of us.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my family dealing in a more positive way with others

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the way the show the world, that every individual worth the same and just because certain appearances differ, we all deserve equal level of acceptance and love.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

super kind and caring, paying individual attention to all

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

probably thrive even better

Ways to make it better...

there were more events! we love them

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the lack of financial funds

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-5-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Friendship Circle has left an everlasting impression on so many peoples lives. I volunteered with Friendship Circle throughout my college years. I was matched up with a friend with special needs. Most of the time her and I would just hang out and do what most friends do with each other, have fun. Other times we would go to the planed events which were always a blast. I have made some amazing friends that to this day I still keep in touch with. This organization brightens the lives of so many people both with and without special needs.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing people for who they are.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

making other people happy and making new friends.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

genuinely nice, giving, and down to earth people.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

It would make the world a better place to live.

Ways to make it better...

I stayed living in San Diego.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

publicity, and funding.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

This organization makes my son feel normal, accepted, appreciated and loved. When they play baseball and my son does not understand all the rules or cannot always hit the ball great, they say, that's 3 1/2 outs, you're ok, keep trying. They have wonderful volunteers who cheerfully take over, giving parents time to rest, socialize and learn new skills when dealing with children with disabilities. Everyone there is very nurturing and you feel like you can talk about the stress in your life without people lifting brows and not wanting to hear all your sad stories. They welcome your feelings, offer suggestions, praise and warm smiles.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

sporting events, picnics, music programs, lecture events.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

have more advertisement to involve more children with disabilities

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

They are always cheerful, friendly, understanding and helpful.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very cheerful and kind

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

run nationwide and have more programs in all counties of different states.

Ways to make it better...

more people joined or volunteered

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

raising enough capital to survive and having enough manpower to make it work

One thing I'd also say is that...

children with learning disabilites need more programs like these to make them feel accepted and normal in society.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

The Friendship Circle has been such an amazing part of my son's life for the past 4 years. He has autism and friends are hard to come by for him. When he attends the Friendship Circle events, his face lights up. He feels apart of a group and feels so welcome. He also enjoys when friends come to our home to play with him. He talks about it all week and plans the toys he will share with them.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

were incredible. Each of them really know how to make Eitan feel special, which in addition to building his social skills, helps build his self esteem.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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