Next week is the first Friendship Circle event with Gather the Jews! What is Friendship Circle, you ask? Friendship Circle is an organization that strives to create bonds between young professionals and young adults with special needs in the DMV through fun and creative programming. On Sunday October 20, we are going to Siena’s to make our own pizza, hang out, and get to know each other in a relaxed and intimate setting.
The young adults with special needs who are planning on going are so excited and want you to be just as excited! Events like these allow them to practice their social skills and improve their language. So often people with special needs feel isolated from people their own age because they live at home, far from where young professionals live in more urban areas. “It’s important for young adults with special needs to be invited to programs – some feel disconnected and left out when no one asks them to participate, and others who need to be more social, simply accept the status quo and stay home,” says a mother with a son on the autism spectrum. “My hope is that the Friendship Circle program provides an opportunity for young adults with special needs to meet one another and young professionals.” Friendship circle events allow everyone to make meaningful friendships.
Friendship Circle is a national organization that has recently branched out to working with young professionals. Typical “circles” usually focus on teenagers. However, leadership realized that there was an essential untapped market in the “20 somethings” looking to give back in a meaningful way. Additionally, people with disabilities between the ages of 20 and 30 tend to be the most lonely because they are no longer affiliated with a school system and have not yet transitioned to living on their own or in a group home. It seems to be the perfect pairing.
As one friendship circle member commented on the upcoming event, “it might be interesting because I can learn how to make my own pizza and make good friends!” Who wouldn’t want to go?