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Friends In Action

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community Foundations, Philanthropy

Mission: To enhance the lives of people with developmental disabilities by creating inclusive social and recreational activities.

Programs: Friends in action is about friendship, laughter, companionship, fun, and community connections. Everything that we all want in our lives to make us happy. The goal is to have people who might otherwise be very isolated have real, meaningful friendships, places to go, things to do and people to meet. To have something and someone to look forward to. Friends in action currently serves about 180 people with developmental disabilities. Over 200 people volunteer during the year. Friends in action added a new program in 2015. On mondays and tuesdays, participants volunteer at echo thrift shop alongside unh students and community members. Participants love this opportunity because it is very social while volunteering in a fun environment with many different types of people. Wildcat friends:wildcat friends gives young adults with developmental disabilities a college experience. The goal is for young adults with disabilities to experience college in a meaningful and stimulating way that allows them to interact and make friends with one another and college students, discover a lifelong love of learning, and to have an experience that is typical of their peers. A typical day at wildcat friends includes a theater class, a recreation activity, a meal at a dining hall, and an educational class geared towards the specific interests of participants. Each semester, over 100 students from various departments and dorms volunteer, making this an exceptional collaborative learning experience. Theater class:the end of the semester theater production is a highlight of each semester at wildcat friends. After three months of practice, participants put on a show for family, friends and unh students. Each show is unique, with participants picking their favorite songs to work with. Theater is more than just acting, song and dance, however. Theater helps participants with self-confidence, speech and communication skills. Some participants are more talkative and interactive with family members and friends since becoming involved in theater. Basketball club:basketball club was the first program started by friends in action in 2000. It is a favorite for many and some people have been playing for 17 years. No matter what abilities participants bring to the court, the games are all about passing, teamwork and supporting each other for fun pick-up style games. Bowling club:bowling club meets twice per month on the first and third thursday. Participants bowl, socialize and encourage each other. Bowling takes place at bowl-o-rama in portsmouth from 6:00-7:30. Participants bowl as many games as possible during this time. Dancercise:stretching and waking up bodies for some free-flowing and fun dancing is what dancercise is all about. Dancercise is led by energetic staff who love to dance. With innovative dance steps such as ribbon dancing and the ever so popular "shout" dance, participants leave tired but excited for the next session. This class is designed to get heart rates up and people smiling. Friday night social:friday night social is a gathering of young people from many different area towns. Participants play basketball, dance to music provided by a dj, make craft projects, play games, eat pizza and socialize. University of new hampshire students volunteer regularly. Friday night social is friends in action's most popular program, with 60-80 people participating regularly. Movie club:everyone enjoys laughing, crying, getting scared, being inspired and being entertained together. Movie club is just the place. Twice a month a group of young adults meet at the local movie theater on the second and fourth tuesday to enjoy a good movie and some popcorn together. Echo thrift shop:on mondays and tuesdays, friends in action is in charge of running echo thrift shop, a local business owned and run by the community church of durham. Almost 40 participants volunteer each week alongside unh students and community members. It's a great way to meet new people, make new friends, learn new skills and have a social experience.

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