What Is It?
The mission of the Friendship Circle is to create meaningful relationships between local teen volunteers and children with special needs.
Opportunities include helping at inclusive Jewish and social programs including bowling parties, challah baking, tennis outings, and Shabbat dinners; making regular visits to buddies with disabilities; and assisting with the annual Friendship Walk. Please contact the Friendship Circle for COVID-related updates.
Minimum Age to Volunteer
11. Volunteers must be in or entering 6th grade for group events, and in or entering 8th grade for the one-on-one Friends@Home program.
No minimum level of involvement is required; participants choose which programs suit them best, and which they enjoy. “However, when you commit to being a volunteer, the FC is relying on you as a buddy for one of the children. If you are unable to volunteer, you must to notify us at least 3 days in advance so we can try to find a substitute.”
Before beginning to volunteer, all new volunteers must register, and attend an orientation seminar that takes place in September. This seminar will prepare the volunteer to work with a person with disabilities. At this time volunteers can address any concerns and can then choose the program that is a good fit for them.
The Friendship Circle hosts regular inclusive Jewish and social programs including bowling parties, Shabbat dinners, and Loaves of Love (challah baking), as well as holiday programs such as Pizza in the Hut, Purim and Pesach celebrations, and a Shavuot Ice Cream Party. Teen volunteers are needed and welcome at these events.
Through this program, individuals with disabilities enjoy regular visits in their homes from pairs of volunteers, giving parents respite while the child enjoys an hour of homemade fun with his/her friends.
Teen volunteers are needed to help with the Friendship Circle’s annual community-wide Friendship Walk. This event helps heighten awareness of children and adults with disabilities, and raises funds for Friendship Circle programs. The walk is typically held in December.
FRIENDSHIP CIRCLE OF HOUSTON
Houston, Texas 77096
Houston, Texas 77096
Located in Suite 500.
Friendship Circle Houston Gala Video (2018) (5 minutes 54 seconds)
Examples of past Scout projects
Gold Award: Ellie G. designed an art program for children and teens with special needs, taught a watercolor class for Friendship Circle participants and their buddies, displayed the art at the annual J-Teen Art Scene Showcase, and created an online resource of other possible art projects. (2017)