Tag Archives: Donation

Soul Center Fiber Arts Studio Receives Generous Donation

Opportunity Knocks

Carolyn Sklarchyk has been weaving for over thirty-five years. Her son, Sam, age 24, was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. Since then, her family has been continuously involved with the Friendship Circle. When she learned they were planning to open an art studio alongside a kosher cafe, now the Farber Soul Center, she approached Bassie Shemtov, Co-President of the organization, about teaching weaving to the participants in the art studio. Her son Sam, who began in the painting area of the studio, now works in the cafe.

“Exploration is important.”

Brother Sewing Machine

The majority of Sklarchyk’s students come in with no prior experience in the fiber arts. She gets them right into it, teaching them about different types and colors of yarn, types of looms, and different things they might be able to create. Then she puts them at the loom and has them dive in headfirst. “It’s a lot of experimenting and guidance,” says Sklarchyk.

She works with up to thirty students at a time, fifteen to twenty on an average day, each assisted by a volunteer. All her students are over the age of eighteen, ranging up to adults in their late forties. There is an equal mix of male and female participants in the studio. “It’s a blast,” Sklarchyk told us.

Great for Everybody

Brother Donates Sewing Machines

Sklarchyk had mentioned to Shemtov that there was a need for sewing machines in the fiber arts studio. Many participants were interested in sewing, and it would make creating items, such as purses and pillows, much easier. Shemtov approached Brother International Corporation, a leading manufacturer of home sewing and embroidery machines, and got them to donate six machines, including a embroidery machine and an edging machine. “They donated magnificent equipment. The artists have been using everything,” Sklarchyk gushes about the donation.

Carolyn’s daughter Emma (Morris), 21, helped to set up the machines and assisted a few artists with their first projects. One artist, Dovid, was thrilled to embroider text on his tallis bag.

Sklarchyk reflected on how the artists have gained new skills on the new equipment.  “They’re learning faster than me and they started using it the morning after it was donated!”

When asked about how the Soul Center has benefitted individuals with special needs, she had this to say, “In the creative world, we are all equal. We all have the ability to create. When they sew or weave, their (the students) self-esteem grows. It has been great for everybody.”

Generous Donation Will Add Another Week to Bike Camp

Between now and the end of the year, Howard and Iris Rosen will generously donate up to $5,000 on a matching gift basis in support of Friendship Circle’s Bike Camp.

Why Bike Camp?

Noah and Hannah Tighe, the niece and nephew of Howard and Iris, participated in this program last year and learned how to ride a bike for the very first time, without training wheels in less than one week! The success of the program was astounding to Howard and Iris. However, due to the high demand for this camp, all of the children that wanted to participate were unable to. This is why it is their desire to underwrite a second week of camp in 2014 with your help.

More About Bike Camp

Friendship Circle has partnered with iCan Bike Program to teach children with special needs to ride a bike in just one week. They go from training wheels to two-wheelers before our eyes. For more information, please check out: iCan Bike 

How You Can Help

If you would like to contribute to this matching fund, please visit: www.friendshipcircle.org/rosen

Photos From Last Year’s Bike Camp

Friendship Circle Partners With Whole Foods For “One Dime At A Time” Program

wholefoods-dime

Support Friendship Circle, Save the Environment.

Whole Foods Market has chosen Friendship Circle as the benefiting charity of their “One Dime at a Time” program. This program provides an incentive to customers to eliminate single-use plastic bags and develop stronger communities all at the same time.

Bring your own reusable shopping bag with you to Whole Foods. At the register customers can present their bag and have the option to receive a 10 cent per bag refund as cash back or they can choose to donate it to Friendship Circle.

All three Oakland county locations (West Bloomfield, Troy and Rochester Hills) will be running the “One Dime at a Time” program from April through June so make sure to grab your reusable shopping bags and head out to your neighborhood Whole Foods Market soon!

Orchard Valley Swim Club Donated To Friendship Circle

Orchard Valley Swim Club

Recently, Friendship Circle was the recipient of a very generous gift — the title to the property, formally known as Orchard Valley Swim Club.  Thanks to the generosity of David Glass and Randy Lesson, the Orchard Valley Swim & Racquet Club will give Friendship Circle the opportunity to further develop it’s programs for individuals with special needs.

While no decision has been made as of yet on the use of the property, discussion are underway on how to restore the property to its former state. If you would like to share some of your memories of the swim club or would would like to be involved in the planning or implementation of the restoration, please contact [email protected]

Swim Club Location

A Truckload of Toys Arrives at Friendship Circle

two/eighteen Toy Drivetwo/eighteen, an upscale men’s boutique in Royal Oak, hosted a toy drive during the holiday season to benefit Friendship Circle.

The toy drive titled, “A Time to Give” created a buzz as two/eighteen received toy contributions not only from clients but also Meijer in Northville and Toyology in West Bloomfield.

After receiving the truckload of toys, Friendship Circle decided to maximize the impact of the toys on as many kids as possible.

The Sav-On Drug Store in Weinberg Village is now fully stocked for the 3,500 students with special needs that pass through yearly. The Music Room received an upgrade with a brand new drum set, guitar and musical toys. The board games found a home with our [email protected] program, as they will be distributed among volunteers to bring to the homes of sixty children with special needs for an hour of play.

On Thursday, January 17th, each child in the Friendship Circle’s Social Skills program received a toy from the four owners of two/eighteen. To ensure the children with special needs were learning a lesson alongside receiving the gifts, they were taught the proper way to accept and show gratitude by making thank you cards and learning proper verbal expressions of gratitude.

As an organization that hosts upwards of 100 children daily, six days a week, the “Time to Give” toy drive provided Friendship Circle with a much needed upgrade in the toy department! Thank you to two/eighteen staff Rick Williams, Roland Coit, Tawny Thieu and Fred Walker and Zac Chadwick .

two/eighteen visits Friendship Circle

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