|BROOKLYN, NY -– The new school year has just begun but last Tuesday night, pop-quizzes were far from the minds of two hundred local high school girls. The girls abandoned their books to take part in a festive Kickoff Party for the 2006-07 Friendship Circle season.
Friendship Circle volunteers visit children with special needs to offer friendship to the children and respite to their overburdened families. Tuesday's Kickoff Party at the Jewish Children's Museum was a chance for students to learn about the incredible programs and to volunteer. With soft music playing in the background the girls enjoyed a lavish salad bar while Chayle Kopfstein, program coordinator of the Friendship Circle, made her rounds chatting with them and answering questions.
To the delight and fascination of the 200 participants, the evening was highlighted by a dessert demo with professional pastry chef Rivka Turner. Mrs. Turner showed the crowd how to prepare the popular Italian tiramisu dessert.
Tzirl Goldman, director of the Friendship Circle @ the Jewish Children's Museum said the organization was launched four years ago to fill a void in the lives of children with special needs. “[They] feel isolated. They see their siblings and other kids going around doing things, and think 'why can't I?'” What began as a small project to include children with special needs in everyday activities and celebrations has blossomed into a vibrant organization serving communities throughout Brooklyn.
While it took a lot of coordinating and resourcefulness to round up that first group of volunteers, today, FC directors say the high school kids want to join. “We gain from the kids as much as we give” said a volunteer.
It's easy to join the Friendship Circle as a volunteer. Girls can call Chayle at: 718.907.8835. Boys can call Rabbi Nemes at: 718.907.8840 or email email@example.com Adult volunteers are welcome.
Chayle Kopfstein and the Friendship Circle would like to thank Dovid Weinbaum and Yehudis Kramer for helping make the event the success that it was.
Click here to view a moving video describing the work of the Friendship Circle.