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Friendship Circle grows in popularity

When Florida Friendship Circle was formed four years ago, it helped two families with special needs children. The program now serves 80 special needs families from North Broward and South Palm Beach, with the number going up practically every week.

Sarah Biston, program director, said the popularity of the program has not taken her by surprise.

“When we started out, there were not many programs for special needs children. I think what we are doing is very important,” Biston said. “Apart from 80 special needs families, the program also has over 100 volunteers who help special needs children take part in activities. All our programs are free.”

The Chabad of Parkland-based program, which is a joint effort involving children with special needs, their parents, staff, volunteers and supporters of the program, offers three main programs - Sunday Circle, Friends at Home, and holiday activities. Among the three, Biston picks “Friends at Home” is the most important one.

“We send two volunteers to the home of a special needs child as part of the program,” Biston said. “They spend an hour each week with the child. The child thus gets a buddy. The program also gives parents some much-needed time to relax."

Call Sarah Biston at 954-255-6922 or e-mail floridafriendshipcircle@gmail.com.