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Freeze & Walk with The Friendship Circle

I had seen the purple Friendship Circle logo magnets on cars all over metro Detroit. But what does it mean? What is the Friendship Circle? Earlier this summer I had the opportunity to explore their facilities in West Bloomfield and learn about this amazing organization.

Founded in 1994, The Friendship Circle provides assistance and support to the families of children with special needs. Most of the work they do is in the innovative Ferber Kaufman LifeTown. The activity wing at LifeTown and the Weinberg Village are quite special.

The Activity Wing in LifeTown is comprised of 8 unique rooms. The Gross Motor Room is a place where the kids can have a ball, literally. The room has padded walls, hanging swings, a rock climbing wall, and, of course, various sized balls. The Water Room is fully tiled with sprinklers and showerheads throughout. No need to worry in here, make a mess and everything will just wash right off.

Other rooms include a music & dance room, computer room, art room, and a multi-sensory room.

Weinberg Village is a 5,000 square foot mini-town with a bank, movie theater, library, drug store, doctor’s office, and a pet store with real live pets! The children learn real life skills in Weinberg Village; they can take real money out of the bank and spend it in the Village any way they choose. There are working traffic lights and you WILL get a ticket if you cross on a red light.

During our visit, co-founder Bassie Shem Tov had us engage in “disability awareness.” We were each handed a disability and told to walk around the Village, performing different tasks. Just like the kids, we got to take real money out of the bank and spend it at the Village shops.

I was given a speech disability; I couldn’t speak at all but could use a communication board and picture cards to communicate. My husband had a cognitive disability; this meant he could only use words with an odd number of letters. This slowed him down a bit, you have to think and count before you speak. This was a powerful exercise; you don’t realize how much you take for granted. Basic communication is an every day struggle for many.

Friendship Circle of Michigan now serves over 250 families and 2,500 students in metro Detroit visit Weinberg Village each year. There are now Friendship Circles in over 80 locations in 22 states and 7 countries.

To create awareness and support for their largest fundraising event, Walk4Friendship, Friendship Circle is inviting everyone in the community to join in a flash-mob freeze on August 18th at 5:00 p.m. at the Somerset Collection in Troy. They are hoping over 1000 people will participate.

Learn more about Freeze4Friendship, Walk4Friendship, The Friendship Circle, and how to volunteer.

Seriously, The Friendship Circle is pretty awesome. Check it out and get involved.

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A collection of Happy Friendship Day pictures, best Friendship Images, greetings and pictures here.

August 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterFriendship Images

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