One need only walk in the door at Friends Life to know you're somewhere special. Though I was a new face on my first visit, the Friends greeted me with hugs and handshakes and smiles that left me glowing. You can tell that amazing things are happening there every day. Friends Life is unique in its approach: keeping young adults with special needs engaged socially and helping them achieve independence through engagement with their community. Nashville is SO fortunate to have such a resource. Every city should be so lucky.
Friends Life is a wonderful program that truly enriches the lives of everyone involved. From a volunteers perspective it is evident the amazing staff has the qualities that make Friends Life thrive. The staff members are patient, caring, compassionate, talented, knowledgeable, and have a genuine care for all the friends. The friends that come to the program are all uniquely wonderful. They are encouraging, kind, helpful to one another, have a good work ethic, and create an environment with a sense of community that is a pleasure to be around. I would highly recommend a volunteer opportunity with Friends Life.
My daughter, who's now 22, was diagnosed with autism at a young age. We were not sure what was going to happen for the next stage of life after school. In comes Friends Life. Friends Life did something to her that my wife and I thought would never happen, she opened up. He new found confidence in herself because of Friends Life, allowed her to find a job (which she has been working for over a year) and she has just recently taking up driving and working on getting her license. None of this would have been possible without the people at Friends Life!
Our daughter has participated in Friends Life since it began. It's difficult to put into words the positive impact it has had on her life and also on ours. She has gained knowledge, social skills, and most of all confidence in herself. She has experienced real friendships and support that lets her know she is loved and valued as a member of her community. Through Friends Life's emphasis on "giving service to community" she has experienced the joys of volunteering and helping others. The staff are truly special people and with their unique gifts they come together to create a community of learning and loving support that changes lives! There are very few quality programs out there for adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities and this one is a gem!
My son has been attending Friends Life from day 1. There aren't many options for adults with special needs and even options that are the outstanding quality of Friends Life.
It is a place where he has friends, he exercises and learns about healthy eating, he has responsibilities and accountability and he is encouraged to give back to others.
The staff is excellent. They are caring, knowledgeable and interact with the friends with respect
My son has grown so much in his time at Friends Life. Our lives have been impacted greatly by his time there. I look forward to Friends Life being a part of our lives forever.
I have been referring individuals and their families to Friends Life since its inception as an after school program and continue to do so frequently with the current structure of Friends Life as an Adult Community Day Program. From the beginning, I have been impressed with the forward thinking of the staff regarding not only the agency itself but the futures of all the participants. If you visit Friends Life or attend any event they are involved with you can see the enthusiasm and feel the warmth from staff and participants.
As someone who cares deeply about people with disabilities in Nashville, it has been refreshing to experience the gentle presence of Friends Life. Over the past year, I've had the pleasure of attending some of their community events and getting to know some of the staff and some of the clients ("friends"). They have created a truly special, inclusive, and welcoming community. Keep up the good work!
The average American does not have daily interactions with persons who have disabilities. It is so refreshing to visit Friends Life and see persons with disabilities thrive doing daily tasks. Friends Life believes every person has a place in this world. We need Friends Life so teenagers and adults with intellectual disabilities can continue to develop socially, grow personally, and enjoy our wonderful community here in Nashville.
Friends Life is a wonderful program that supports individuals meet their highest potential. It provides opportunities for their participants to learn, experience, and grow. When visiting Friends Life it is obvious that the culture is one of community and mutual respect between staff and participants.
Friends Life Community is such a unique non-profit. I had the privilege of volunteering there with some small groups for a couple of weeks in a row. I was so impressed by the knowledgeable staff and the extremely welcoming friends. We made many new friends and had such an amazing time getting to know them as well as the staff! The operation as a whole is run very well and is making a huge difference in the community. You don't have to be there long to notice what great things take place at Friends Life!
Friends Life filled an important need for our son with disabilities. Post high school, he needed a place that was safe and understanding of his abilities. A place that would encourage his continued learning with highly qualified staff to guide him. A place that nurtured and cared for him as well as nudged him to be more independent. When we found Friends Life, we felt we found the perfect solution to all his needs. Even though our expectations were high, in the 4 years he has been a part of Friends Life, the Friends Life Community has far surpassed our expectations. Matthew is accepted. Matthew is understood. Matthew is cared for and loved; best of all - he has friends!
Friends Life is an incredible non-profit that offers a safe and fun environment for individuals with intellectual disabilities to learn, grow, express themselves and make friends! I had the wonderful opportunity of working for this organization and getting to know many of the Friends and staff very well. I taught Creative Writing and Cooking class-which are only a few of the awesome classes Friends Life offers. It is truly a place of fun and learning-and most importantly, a place where everyone is free to be themselves and feel accepted and loved. Friends Life gave me my Nashville family-and will always hold a special place in my heart. I can not say enough about this wonderful place!
Our daughter, Katie, has been attending the day program at FL since it began. She loves going everyday and is challenged by the programs they have developed. FL is much more than a "baby sitting" program like many programs for people with disabilities. I would say it is more like continuing adult education. FL has classes for everything from creative writing, art, cultural studies to nutrition. They emphasize health and fitness and have done a great job in encouraging Katie to stay on top of her fitness. But the most important thing for Katie at FL are the people. Many of the Friends have been there since it began and these kids have developed into lifelong friendships, something that rarely happens for people with disabilities. We love FL and know Katie's life would never be as rich and meaningful without it!