Twelve years ago, Carlie Suris met her first “friend” through Friends at Home, which paired the Suris family with a teen volunteer for a few hours each week of fun for Carlie– and some respite for her family. Her friend was a shy, 9th grade girl (now in college) who came to the Suris’ home every Sunday until she finished high school.
“They developed such a close friendship that she kept coming to our home even when she was not doing it as a Friendship Circle volunteer,” Debby says. “They still keep in touch.”
Carlie is a regular at Friendship Circle. Over the years, she has participated in many programs, including the Efshar Circle program, summer camps, teen skills programs and overnight camps. Through Friendship Circle’s various programs, Carlie has grown into a confident, happy young woman with a world of friends. She was able to travel to Israel four years ago on the Friendship Circle mission trip with her family, something her mother thought might never be possible. Debby’s father, of blessed memory, joined his daughter and granddaughter on the trip.
“I never thought we would visit Israel because traveling as a family brings many unknowns and challenges, but Friendship Circle made it incredibly easy,” Debby says, adding Friendship Circle makes everything easier for her child.
“This is not a place where you just drop your kid off to get some respite time. It’s a place where you take your child to feel like a human being, to relate to other human beings, and to make friends. I have always been amazed by it all.”
-Suris Family, Children’s Programs