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18 Reviews
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February 21, 2010

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February 21, 2010

this is a dedicated group of warm and caring people who have developed an ideal program for children with special needs and their families. i have had the pleasure of "working" with them for several years and they have continued to grow and develop in the right direction. my sweet, darling, just turned 12 year old with autism has the BEST time at ALL the programs he attends. i am grateful for friendship circle!!!

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

AWESOME

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

October 30, 2009

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October 30, 2009

When I came, there was an obvious organized way, and everyone was very nice. The volunteers constantly checked up on how I was doing with my buddy, and even offered us refreshments.They also provided great activities.

Ways to make it better...

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

More feedback...

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

the kindness of the organizers.

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

very nice and considerate.

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

reach out to even more special-needs children and provide even better activities.

Ways to make it better...

they clearly designated how to get to places like the bathroom.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 21, 2009

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October 21, 2009

My daughter participated as a buddy/mentor to one of the many wonderful children that participate in the program. This was during her senior year in HS and it was one of best community service projects ever - she was engaged and felt like she really made a difference in someone's life. The Friendship Circle fills a void in our community - a chance to reach out to those young people whose voice is seldom heard. The relationship building and "friendship" mean so much to both parties, a sort of "circle" of endearment that is priceless - building memories that will last a lifetime. The selfless effort put forward by all concerned with the Friendship Circle should be recognized as a major asset to our community.

The Great!

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

I have seen how this organization makes a difference! I attended an event honoring the youth who volunteer their time...an amazing group!

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

Wonderful!

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

Provide more camps, transportation and group activities.....

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

October 20, 2009

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October 20, 2009

i had the great privilege of being a winter camp volunteer buddy. my special needs buddy was a high functioning 6 yr old boy with violent tendencies. i did it because i felt that special needs children deserve fun and friendship just like anyone else. i didn't expect it to be as rewarding and enjoyable as it was. my buddy came in withdrawn and unwilling to communicate openly with me but after consistently reaching out to him through all the great programs, games and crafts, he began to open up to me. a couple days into it he wouldn't do anything without me near him. i saw this happening between many of the other buddies too. children that had never interacted with people other then their immediate family, let alone friends, were now laughing and playing with best friends. in addition we, as volunteers, always felt so special and appreciate it. the directors, Nechama and Ezzy shusterman always took the time to get to know each of us and make sure we were happy and ok. it turned us into a warm, happy, friendship circle family. we were able to reach out to the kids so much better because of the great support we got and in return the kids left camp different people. i still miss my buddy but unfortunately lost contact with him after leaving town for school. friendship circle really taught me the value of others and how every person, and every positive action, really helps.

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

was the sincere love and care for others. you could tell that every thing they do is done for no ulterior motive other then really just to help people.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 20, 2009

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October 20, 2009

as my son noah (11) says, "friendship circle rocks!!" what a wonderful program and opportunity for children and families living with special needs...thank you doesn't cover it! a grateful parent, amy

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

meeting new people

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 18, 2009

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October 18, 2009

I have been a part of Friendship Circle for two years now, and from it I have learned a lot not only about myself, but my buddy as well. It is so exciting to see how happy my buddy gets when ever I come over. Friendship Circle has been an amazing experience for me.

The Great!

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

what I have gotten out of it. Without Friendship Circle I wouldn't have had the same high school experience I am having. Friendship Circle has helped me learn more about not only myself, but many other people as well.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 17, 2009

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October 17, 2009

Very positive, loving and clearly all about helping the special needs children have fun in a Jewish learning environment. Unfortunately, my grandson (6) just didn't connect enough with the program, although he loved his teen buddy. It was a significant time commitment and interfered enough with his limited free family time that they decided not to continue but hopefully will try again next year.

Ways to make it better...

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

More feedback...

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

the open loving caring about each child environment. Truly dedicated, committed deserving organization with only the desire to help special needs kids find a way to celebrate Judaism.

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

GREAT

Ways to make it better...

If my grandson connected!

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

Money

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 16, 2009

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October 16, 2009

I have a unique perspective on the Friendship Circle (FC). Over the past 2-3 years my children have volunteered as "buddies" for the special needs children, introducing me to the incredible services the organization provides both to these kids and to the teens who serve them. It has been an invaluable experience for the teens to learn about people of uniquely different talents, doing something for someone else without anything more than the satisfaction of doing it. The support provided by the small FC staff has always been welcoming to one and all. I had a chance to seem them work when I volunteered to help out with their annual fundraising event, and was very impressed by what a small group could accomplish.

The Great!

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

listening to the stories of the families served by the program. Wow! What a difference FC has made in their lives.

Ways to make it better...

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

make it possible for them to hire more assistants to do more of the communications.

More feedback...

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

feeling as though my contributions, no matter how large or small, were valued.

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

all equally genuine in their concern for the families they serve, and do their utmost to foster a good environment for the teen volunteers.

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

serve many, many more families than it does now.

Ways to make it better...

the communications about event dates were improved (that was my experience in the first year, but they have markedly improved since then).

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

that there is a much greater need for their services than they can reach.

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

although FC has access to experts trained in working with special needs kids, the teens that work with them could use more support from time to time.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 15, 2009

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October 15, 2009

My older daughter volunteered with the Friendship Circle for four years. She started with Winter Camp which she loved. It was a great experience for her. After that she did Friends at Home, visiting a special needs friend once/week. It was a special time for her, kept her grounded and appreciating what she has more. She learned to be a teacher and a mentor and how to understand her special friend. He loved her, always excited to see her. It has also been a tremendous support for his family who love to have her around. Now that she is in college, my younger daughter has taken over her buddy whom she visits every week. She has been trained by a professional at the Orientation/Training and is always trying to get her buddy to talk more and try new games etc. It is a great experience for both of them. His family is also getting continued support. My younger daughter is also part of Friendship Circle's President's Club, or Leadership Club which she loves. She helps plan activities for the teens and is in charge of keeping everyone up-to-date on Facebook. This has encouraged her to seek leadership positions at school. She loves volunteering for the Friendship Circle.

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

The Directors and staff are wonderful people. They are great at communicating with teens, parents and children. Everyone feels welcome and part of a very special community. All people involved love the Friendship Circle and are dedicated to the cause.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 15, 2009

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October 15, 2009

Friendship Circle has really helped me understand life a little better. If you want to do it because it looks good on college applications, then don't do it at all. You need to have a passion for this, because I'm not going to lie, this is really hard to do. And if you are not in it 100%, then you are just letting down someone else. Friendship Circle taught me not to judge anyone, nobody is the same, and we are all born the way we are for a reason. I really loved this program, and i think that i am going to join again soon, because i miss making kids smile. I miss that feeling of seeing a child's face lighten up when they see you, because they know that you are going to give them a good time. I stopped going to Friendship Circle because of homework, and time management, but i really want to begin again. If you love helping people, if you love kids, if you just love knowing that you are giving, then you should really join this organization. This is not for everyone though. You have to be strong, but still be their friend. You learn to be better at this over time. Like, when i first joined, i had no idea what i was doing. I didn't know if i should tell the child to stop, or tell him "if you follow directions, then you get a present." But each child has something that helps, and if you communicate with the parents, then they can help you. It all takes time, patience, love, and effort, honestly. However, there are older people in this organization. And, even though they have a disability, i don't think that they want to be treated any differently. So giving older kids play-do, and telling them to play on the playground, might not be the best way. Treat them like you would want to be treated. I wouldn't want to be told that i need to play with these blocks, because i would be bored. And i think that some of these kids do get bored, because the activities are not showing everything that they are capable of.

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

Kind, generous, willing to help, but understated the people here.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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