4 Ways We Made a Difference in 2020

Friendship Circle is dedicated to going above and beyond to fulfill the needs of the community, especially in a time of need. Read more below about how Friendship Circle made a difference in 2020 with the help of our devoted volunteers and supporters. 

You can join and help make a difference by donating to Friendship Circle’s Rise and Shine campaign.

1. Virtual Programming for All Ages

From Soul Studio to UMatter’s Teen Talks, nearly all Friendship Circle programs have a virtual option now. It all started when Michigan went into lockdown on a Friday and Friendship Circle had virtual programs up and running by Monday. What started out as a way to bring friends, activities and fun to those in isolation has turned into a virtual community with 30 weekly programs for kids on FC Goes Virtual.

Soul Studio of Friendship Circle’s adult division has transitioned to combine virtual and limited in-person programming for its artists. Facilitating Artists guide participants with their projects either virtually or in-person at the studio. 

UMatter — a program focused on empowering teens to shatter the stigmas surrounding mental health challenges and suicide — has added a virtual option to its Teen Talks support group. Donate to our Rise and Shine campaign to help virtual programming continue in 2021.

2. Summer & Winter Camp Continued

Just when camp during a pandemic seemed impossible, Friendship Circle made it happen this past summer. Those isolated in quarantine for months got the experience of a lifetime at Friendship Circle Summer Camp, Dedicated in Loving Memory of Jamey Moray z”l by Randy and Craig Rubin. This one week overnight camp lasted 4 sessions and hosted kids and adults of all ages. Making camp happen was necessary and impactful for families struggling in isolation.

Winter Camp was extra special this year with visits from Disney princesses, a circus-themed obstacle course, and lots of games and activities. Winter Camp happened both virtually and in small pods in-person, catering to families based on their individual needs and comfort levels. Help support Friendship Circle camps here.

3. Special Deliveries to Those in Isolation

Friendship Circle found creative ways to stay connected with families and individuals in 2020. When some families couldn’t attend camp in-person this year, Friendship Circle surprised over 70 families with Camp in a Box. Campers opened the boxes to find carefully assembled crafts and puzzles which invoked their sense of imagination and curiosity of camp at home.

Soul Cafe and Friendship House also helped deliver to families and individuals struggling in isolation. When restaurants closed, Soul Cafe kept running and prepared meals for those that needed them. Help support Soul Cafe and Friendship House here.

4. We Bought a Bakery!

The story goes that Friendship Circle saw a need in the community for a vocational bakery training program for adults with special needs and decided to purchase Dakota Bread Company to make it happen. Now, only two months later, the program is already up and running! Participants say that baking helps them to find purpose and meaning in their lives.

Friendship Circle has big plans for Dakota Bread, from building renovations to expanding the bakery training program. Help support this project by donating to our Rise and Shine campaign.

For media inquiries, please contact Melanie Barnett at [email protected].

New owners for Dakota Bread mean a place to fit in, rising sales

Read this article in the Detroit News. New owners for Dakota Bread mean a place to fit in,…

friendship circle in the news

Friendship Circle reopens Soul Cafe in West Bloomfield Township

The Friendship Circle helps more than 3,000 people with special needs along with their families. The Soul Cafe in West…

jonathan barnett

Soul Stories: Jonathan Barnett

You can typically find Soul Studio Artist Jonathan Barnett making repetitive, gestural brushstrokes on a large canvas. These…

Postcards from Pals

Friendship Circle Puts Sunshine in Mailboxes with ‘Postcards from Pals’

It’s a great feeling to open your mailbox and find a sunny and heartfelt letter inside, written just…

farber center 5 year anniversary

Friendship Circle Celebrates Farber Soul Center 5-Year Anniversary

Five years ago, the Farber Soul Center opened for the first time thanks to the generosity of the…

freedom - a passover drive-thru experience

You’re Invited to FREEDOM: An Immersive Passover Drive Through Experience

Friendship Circle invites you to come taste freedom in preparation for Passover with this one-of-a-kind experience — based…