Laura Michael’s Reflection on Friendship Circle

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  At first, many of the children I worked with were very shy and withdrawn and refused to participate in the activities, but by the end of the session they grew very talkative and happy as they made new friends or learned something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.

http://www.friendshipnyc.com

This is a picture that one of the children insisted I keep. Her favorite things to draw were mushrooms and umbrellas, but she drew a picture of us and I was very flattered.

4 thoughts on “Laura Michael’s Reflection on Friendship Circle

  1. Laura,

    Please send greetings to Dina for me. I enjoyed meeting her last year when i took a group to The Friendship Circle last year. I think the services they offer these families of autistic children is so commendable. I’m glad you have chosen to volunteer on a regular basis with FC, as it is through these sustained efforts that relationships are able to form. Thanks for sharing the illustration. I am sure you treasure it.

    Let’s talk in the New Year about offering a Sunday Circle volunteer opportunity for Friends students. I’d love for ou to coordinate that event for us. Dina has been wanting us to offer one again. Let’s talk when we get back from Break.
    Leitzel

    • Making a group from Friends sounds great! Just so you know, it’s still ok to contact Dina, but lately the person who actually heads the meetings has changed. It was Pnina, but she is away, so now it will be someone new.

  2. Hi Laura –

    I am so glad you are continuing to work with children. You were always so patient with the Head Start children when you were in the fourth grade! I am sure you are a real asset to Friendship Circle.

    Best,
    Dot

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