Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Boston (JBBBS) created the Friend 2 Friend (F2F) to provide adults with mild to moderate disabilities the opportunity to make new friends, socialize, stay active and be connected to the community. F2F programs support one-to-one friendships for qualifying adults.
Participants are ages 18+ with mild to moderate disabilities including but not limited to developmental disabilities, learning disabilities, mild mental illness, autism spectrum disorders and traumatic brain injury. They possess basic conversational and independent living skills. Participants, both Jewish and from other faiths and backgrounds, are from a variety of different places, and life experiences. The common thread is that each participant could both benefit from, and seeks, human connection, and friendship.
Our volunteers meet with Friends once a month and spend a few hours with their Friend sharing mutual interests and activities. Many of our matches enjoy going to the movies or theater, playing mini golf or bowling as well as trying a new hobby or favorite restaurant.
If you or someone you know would be interested in participating or volunteering in the program, please contact us.
The F2F pairs a participant, an adult with mild to moderate disabilities, with a volunteer Friend. Friends get together once a month at a mutually convenient time and place. Some enjoy spectating at professional sporting events (go Pats!), others stroll Frog Pond or lunch at a favorite diner.
Friends split the cost of outings – and some participants provide their own transportation.
For more, see these FAQs or contact our F2F team.
F2F M.A.G.I.C. – Monthly Activity Group In the Community – pairs a participant, an adult with mild to moderate disabilities, with a volunteer Friend. Pairs get together one evening per month to participate in an organized group outing with other MAGIC participants and volunteers: movie night, cooking class, karaoke! Friends have the opportunity to interact with other participants and volunteers, promoting relationship-building beyond the match. Plus, it’s a way for busy people to participate in a regular, time-limited, organized activity.
Volunteers and participants are expected to pay for their own activity costs and get their own transportation to events. Events cost approximately $10 per event and most activities are T accessible.
Yom Sport is a premiere, day-long sporting event for adults of all abilities. Athletes participate in accessible, inclusive games with an eye toward fun and friendly competition. No prior team sport or athletic experience necessary! The event is co-sponsored each summer by JBBBS and other community organizations.
Watch our virtual Yom Sport Event
For more information, contact us.
The Friend 2 Friend Experience
JBBBS staff are here to support our participants and their families through every step of their participation with us. Our staff are deeply involved in selecting the best matches for our participants and volunteers so that everyone will have a meaningful and impactful experience. JBBBS clinical match specialists (CMS) are there throughout the process through monthly phone and e-mail check-ins and are always available to address any questions or concerns that may pop up. They remain available to help volunteers brainstorm activities and to field questions and concerns as they arise.
JBBBS clinical match specialists are all Master’s level clinicians who are experienced in supporting not only our participants, but also their families - making sure their collective needs are met.
Whether you are a volunteer or a participant, you are in good hands with the JBBBS staff. Learn more about our staff!
Interest in our participants extends to their families: understanding – and respecting – the nuances of their relationships with parents, guardians, and siblings. It’s about respecting family history, cultural influence and life experience and working together to identify ways to support the participant, and their family, toward meeting their goals.
JBBBS clinical match specialists are all Master’s level clinicians who are experienced in supporting the whole family and making sure their collective needs are met. If a participant has a guardian, he or she may be actively involved in the process of identifying a right-fit volunteer for the participant. And, in addition to monthly phone check-ins with parents and guardians, our team of dedicated Programs staff remains available to the participant’s family through the duration of the match, offering short-term counseling and referrals to support services as needed. Financial assistance is also available to qualifying families experiencing economic hardship.
"The Friend 2 Friend program defines the meaning of friendship. My son, Dan, has been enriched by Friend 2 Friend volunteers since the program’s inception. They’ve provided companionship, unconditional acceptance and encouragement.
His present match is now in its tenth year, with that Friend feeling really a part of the family. As in any friendship, Dan enjoys telephone chats and social outings. He and his friend confide in each other, with the friend a great listener who understands and supports him through issues and concerns. Their frequent contact provides a sense of calm and security in his life. The importance of having a special friend is crucial for anyone’s development, sociability and self-esteem – especially for a person with disabilities. Dan’s quality of life has been enhanced by the friendships he’s had through the years. He’s a much happier individual for his involvement in the program."
- Parent of Friend 2 Friend Participant
Friend 2 Friend participants are 18 and over with mild to moderate disabilities: intellectual, emotional and physical. They include, but are not limited to, those with developmental disabilities, learning disabilities, traumatic brain injuries and Autism Spectrum Disorders. There is no upper age limit for participation in Friend 2 Friend.
JBBBS programs serve Jewish and non-Jewish families from a variety of life circumstances.