The Friendship Circle connects pairs of teen volunteers with special needs children for an hour long, in home visit approximately once a week.

For our pilot program we are working closely with the Jewish Child and Family Service and we will be providing this volunteer service for some of their wards.

The teen volunteers will provide these children, who come from unstable backgrounds, with warm friendship and positive role modeling. The goal is to introduce these children to their rich heritage through games, activities and stories that they will enjoy together during their visits.

The Friendship Circle has enjoyed huge success in other cities as this is a real ‘win / win’ program. The children gain kind and caring friends who model positive traits and help them gain a warm appreciation of their heritage. The teens are empowered, their moral character is enriched and they build confidence and responsibility as they spend some of their free time making a difference in a Jewish child’s life. They also enjoy Melaveh Malka meetings, incentives and trips with their friends as the Friendship Circle shows it’s gratitude for all they are doing for the community.

Although the foster parents enjoy the ‘down time’ to relax, take a break or dedicate themselves to their other responsibilities, the Friendship Circle is not a babysitting service. The parents remain at home while the teen volunteers interact with their special child.