Since the beginning of the year I have been volunteering every other Sunday with the Friendship Circle. Friendship Circle is an organization that assists families with children with special needs by involving their children in a full range of social programs. At their Sunday Circle, teenage volunteers, such as me, are assigned to one or two younger children with special needs in order to befriend them and teach them life skills.
It is amazing how a little two hour act of kindness can have such a positive impact on a child. Many of the children who visit Sunday Circle spend their weeks with therapists and adults, so giving them a small amount of play time with other children their age and an older volunteer allows them to learn important social skills and simply have fun. At first, many of the children I worked with were very shy and withdrawn and refused to participate in the activities, but by the end of the session they grew very talkative and happy as they made new friends or learned something new. It is very satisfying to finally see a smile creep across a child’s face or watch them do something independently for the first time. However, every time I visit the Sunday Circle I leave smiling, not only because it feels good to do something for the community, but because I made a new friend.