Tag Archives: Events

Breaking The Stigma: Friendship Circle to begin Teen Mental Health Program

Friendship Circle is excited to announce that the Jewish Fund has awarded a  $6,000 grant to the Friendship Circle to begin the “Breaking the Stigma” series.

The Friendship Circle of Michigan is beginning to implement a new program designed to educate, build awareness of and remove the stigma from mental health issues. Led by Teen Volunteer Coordinator and Daniel B. Sobel Friendship House Spiritual Coordinator Rabbi Yarden Blumstein, the program will feature a Teen Education Series, culminating in a speaking event for participants and their parents, and with a notable expert on mental health issues being featured. Among the potential speakers is Kevin Briggs, who has worked at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, where he witnessed and prevented suicides.

The program is designed with the general public in mind, and advocates education on mental health issues. Teens can gain tools to help themselves and others. Rabbi Blumstein said that while Friendship Circle’s Daniel B. Sobel Friendship House already provides some support for teens in crisis, a renewed emphasis on the importance of mental and emotional well-being of the community is badly needed.

An advisory board made up of local teenagers has been established and will be led by Rabbi Blumstein. The program is expected to be up and running by January 2017.

About The Jewish Fund

The Jewish FundThe Jewish Fund was established in 1997 from the sale proceeds of Sinai Hospital to the Detroit Medical Center. Sinai Hospital was a Jewish community funded facility that grew into one of metropolitan Detroit’s top health care institutions. As a legacy of Sinai Hospital, The Jewish Fund continues the tradition of assuring excellent and compassionate care for those in need in Metropolitan Detroit by awarding grants to help vulnerable individuals improve their health and human condition.

Shine Bright

Shine Bright: A Beautiful Night Celebrating Our Volunteers

In 1994 Friendship Circle started with 8 volunteers and 4 families. Now, 20 years later, Friendship Circle helps over 300 families supported by over 800 volunteers of the Morrie and Sybil Fenkell Volunteer Club On May 13th Friendship Circle held it’s annual volunteer recognition entitled Shine Bright. Families, Supporters, Friendship Circle staff and parents of volunteers came together to express our sincerest thanks to the amazing volunteers who have put so much effort into creating special friendships with their buddies.

The Event

The event opened with with an original performance by Friendship Circle’s Music and Drama program entitled “G-d is Everywhere.”

Bassie Shemtov, Director of Friendship Circle, thanked each and every volunteer in the audience for being the strength for the children of Friendship Circle and showing them unconditional love.

Alumna volunteer, Jordan Shiffman, and her first Friendship Circle buddy Stephanie Harris shared their story of friendship that has been going strong for the last 13 years. It survived her cross country move and back. They are the epitome of the love shared at Friendship Circle.

 

The night ended with an inspirational and unforgettable performance by Christopher Duffley, a 12-year old singer from New Hampshire. He was born blind and Autistic, but that has not slowed him down one bit. Christopher brought the house to tears with his acapella rendition of “Lean on Me.” Christopher embodies everything that Friendship Circle stands for: inclusion, strength, and love.

 

Christopher Duffley’s Performance

Pictures from Shine Bright

Christopher Duffley’s Performance on Channel 4

Skate Night’s Sensory Friendly Fun

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Friendship Circle hosted a sensory friendly skate night at BonaVenture Family Skating Center on Sunday November 10th. Between 6:00-8:00PM, the facility became sensory friendly and provided families the ability to teach their children roller skate in a safe environment.

What Makes it Sensory Friendly?

  • Brighter Rink
  • Effects such as flashing lights and fog machines are not used
  • Quiet music

These modifications allow sensitive skaters to enjoy skating in a non-threatening environment.

Why Put on a Sensory Friendly Event?

Because many children with special needs, such as autism, are sensitive to noise, lights and other stimuli, sensory friendly options provide opportunities for families to enjoy activities they might not otherwise partake in by making  some simple modifications. Even children without special needs can be sensitive to certain sights and sounds and enjoy a sensory friendly outing.

To learn more about organizations who are committed to providing sensory friendly options check out: 11 Sensory Friendly Entertainment Options for Special Needs Families

Photos from the Event