As a volunteer I get more than I give at the Friendship Circle. At an organized horseback riding event, a beautiful blonde young woman slipped off her horse, she was unharmed as there were trained professionals right next to her to break her fall. Frightened, crying, and sitting in the dust, she was carried back to her wheelchair. It had taken her so long to overcome come her first set of fears about the horse. Her Friendship Circle companion, a friend who has visited her once a week for two years, stood by her side. Ten minutes later the young blonde woman was back on the horse. She inspired me to try something new. I joined a writers group and whenever I feel like quitting, I remember her crying, her recovery and the large open smile of accomplishment when she rode around the rink, her friend at her side. Having been around Friendship Circle for 4 years, I now know that this experience is an everyday act of courage. It is a honor to be a part of such a compassionate and down to earth community.
I have been involved with Friendship Circle for six years. My daughter, who was fifteen at the time, became involved as a friend to a girl with special needs. She spoke about her experience with her new friend and expressed her initial frustration with this new relationship. Over time my daughter found ways to connect with her new friend, and in that process learned to be more patient, understanding, and accepting. I was so impressed with the level of organization of FC that I wanted to be a part of it. Experiencing their holiday celebrations, teen training, the support groups and education for parents, and the coordination of the children's participation in a myriad of activities, made me come to highly value this organization. I am now proud to be a board member of San Diego Friendship Circle.
i volunteeer and belong to freindship circle of chabad san diego ,california. i have asperger's but am hgihly functioning. Our group under the leadership of elisheva green, works with developmental disabled children and some adults and their families. though chabad is an orthodox jewish organization , jews and even some non-jews are welcomed and all are treated with respect and digiity and made to feel special. we have activites like painting,and making challah(jewsih bread) ,make crafts for passover,and chanukah, and purim ahving us learn abotu the holidays while using our hands and minds as well! we go to the zoo,and boomers(mini-golf and other activites), also we learn to work with one another and see that each of us are unique. Friendship circle provides a helathy environment for the families and participants in the program. For me i dont have a car and freidnship circle provides a inexpensvie way to spend time with other jews and feel a sense of belonging and family . the volunteers i work with our so cool too becuse they are patient and understanding and dont treat us like stupid children or intimidate us. being with them is like being with the kind of people who make you forget you have a disbility and feel you in a place where disability is not a llimiting factor where what ever we do be it singing or planting a tree,or particiapte in religious ceremony or drawing or painting or other crafts is appereciated. i wish the whole world was like Friendship circle and have made many real freidns they are great!
The Friendship Circle provides a nurturing and a loving environment to children with special needs, as a volunteer I have become a better person, my son has learned many life long lessons by mentoring and working with this phenomenal organization.
My son has Tourettes Syndrome and knows what it is like to feel different. When he found out about the Friendship Circle he immediately became involved as a teen helping others who are a little different from the normal population. He just LOVES to help others. He has a kind,gentle heart and understands how it is to lead a slightly different life. He has two "special" friends that he visits every week and gives those children a feeling of normalcy for a few hours each week. It is a great relief to the parents to see their kids playing in a normal environment. The Friendship Circle gives back in every way. They are a very organized organization always going beyond their means to help others. This has been a life changing experience for my son. He looks forward to the weekend when he can be with the group at activities just to help others. We are thrilled to be a part of it.
the Friendship Circle of San Diego is an amazing organization. It helps children/teens/adults with special needs have a non-judgemental friend. They are one of the most caring groups I have even been associated with.
This organization has provided not only our 14 year old son but my husband and I an opportunity to help our community with special needs. The organization is one of the best groups I have ever been associated with. It has wonderful outings and I can see all people are treated with restpect.
The organization provides an excellent opportunity for children with special needs to be included in various activities. It is very beautiful to see how the children interact and they grow on experiences. Having someone to be with means more to them then anything else and the Friendship Circle creates that environment.
This organization helped me understand how valuable my life is. I volunteer with a family with 3 autistic children--seeing how they go through life with such a struggle to do basic tasks it humbles me that i take these actions for granted.
Friendship Circle ("FC") is an organization that shows its sensitivity from all who are involved for the disabled child and adult. FC, through those who work and volunteer for it, is a friendly, helpful and really amazing organization that gives the disabled a reason d'etre. It enhances their lives, and gives the children and adults a way to have fun and know more than living with their disability. It shows them a way to have fun and be positive with their disability. I have found those who are involved with this wonderful organization to be the most senstive, positive and kind people and am very happy to be associated with them. Not only has this organization changed the lives of the disabled children and adults, but it has changed the lives of the volunteers as well, all for the better.
Working as a volunteer for the friendship circle is such a rewarding experience, I love seeing how happy the children get when they meet their "friend" for the day. Volunteering here for the last 2 years has been a great experience.
The opportunity to guide special needs children and young adults through various hands-on experiences at Friendship Circle San Diego programs and events has proven to be very meaningful in my life. Through this work I felt better prepared when a local family asked me to be a part-time caregiver for their daughter and son-in-law. The joy I could see beaming from the faces of those the organization serves became an added source of joy for me. FCSD is uplifting for all those involved with it and is most worthwhile to support.
I volunteer at the Friendship Circle and I have so much fun with it. It doesn't only benefit the families with special needs, it also benefits the volunteers. I have learned so much from the hours I have given and have grown in a spiritual way as well.
I am a Music Therapist, Special Education teacher and a volunteer for Friendship Circle of San Diego. Several times I was asked to set up a Music Resource room for parents or volunteers with their children to come and participate singly or in small groups. The activities were often related to holiday celebrations which added to the interest and enthusiasm of all concerned. I also helped to lead the entire assembly for one holiday celebration with the help of other musicians,teachers, volunteers and all the parents who came with their children. I am extremely impressed with all the activities of the San Diego Friendship Circle. First of all, the variety of activities offered are inspiring: from concerts, picnics, boat rides, horsebackriding, holiday gatherings of all varieties, which always include wonderful meals, foods and snacks which add to the awakening of all sensory experiences. Most impressive is the quality and committment of the volunteers, both teenagers who may become professionals in these fields some day and caring adults as well. This organization has a warm and efficient way of bringing the community together for activities and fund raising walks. Young people involved do become closer friends and the cooperation and volunteerism encouraged is phenomenal. It is a great source of comfort and support for so many parents with this added challenge of special needs children. As a grandmother of an extremely limited special needs child, who passed away at age 19, I experienced first hand the stress on my daughter's family, even though I helped when I could. Teenage volunteers who came on Sundays and holidays to help with his care, and also brought him to activities were so appreciated. They became like a part of our family as well. I was so touched and comforted by their involvement and I am so thankful for all the volunteers involved here in San Diego.
I have had the privilege of volunteering on an occasional basis for the Friendship Circle. Every time I have had the opportunity to be involved, it has been a rewarding experience for me. I particularly enjoy watching my daughter's involvement as a volunteer. I think we get more out of helping the Friendship Circle than the Circle gains from our participation.
The Friendship Circle is an amazing organization! Not only do they pair up children with disabilities with "friends" that allow parents some respite time, but all their events are of high quality and are set up to appeal to a variety of biological and developmental age groups.
I have volunteered for Friendship Circle. It has been a magnificant experience. Volunteers like myself strive to make the world a better place by volunteering and creating a sense of Unity. As I write I this I think of that famous song "We Are The World We Are The Children." So Everyone Lets Volunteer And Make The World A Better Place. Hillel Rissman
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.
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.
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.