I am the Dean of a private high school in San Diego. The service that the Friendship Circle provides to children with disabilities is incredible. As part of orientation, our school hosts two training sessions for volunteers for this wonderful organization. The impact that the Friendship Circle has on the families they help is life changing. Just as an example, a family that I have known for years has a daughter with Downs Syndrome. The skills that the Friendship Circle helped her learn, and the ability to connect with people outside of her family, enabled her to leave home and study in an advanced setting.
This is an amazing organization that has done wonderful things for special needs children and adults! I was a special education teacher for 21 years and witnessed first hand, friendship does not come easy for people with special needs. Friendship Circle creates socially appropriate activities and events that are very specific to the population they serve. The "typical" teen volunteers encourage their matched "friend" to experience the activities at the event, at the same time fostering a friendship that often continues with home visits and an ongoing friendship that can last for years. Friendship Circle has changed the lives of both the volunteers and friends and has given children and adults with special needs someone and something to look forward to...........a social event and a friend!
Friendship Circle of SD has helped my brother who has a very rare syndrome emensly. Every time I speak with him, he tells me about the next activity or event coming up. Thanks to Friendship Circle, he now has a social, educational and stimulating schedule to keep him busy during evenings and weekends. This is very important to me, since I live in Europe and am unable to spend time with him myself. I am a program director of an international European non-profit organization. I have extensive experience with non-profit organizations, and I have been very impressed with how efficeint friendship circle is run both with focus on every detail of the programs themselves, the care for each individal involved, and in the meticulous budgeting of the organization. I feel confident when donating to Friendship Circle, because almost all resources are spent directly on providing programs. I wish it were possible to make more funds available to Friendship Circle which in turn would benefit more special needs children and provide them with more programing.