Mentoring Monday: Mark our words, friendship matters.

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August 21st, 2017
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Mark was looking for a new friend. A friend, period.

It was the fall of 2013. At 50, Mark was confronting a string of personal and professional challenges, struggling to meet people and maintain a job while managing a disability. He turned to Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Friend 2 Friend program for support.

Friend 2 Friend, which matches adults with disabilities, one-to-one, to new friends, serves over 200 participants each year in its community and group activity programs. And while participants’ disabilities vary widely, there is a common drive for human connection they share. Mark was no exception in this regard, noting that – prior to enrolling in the program – he spent much of his time alone and rarely explored his community.

Enter Marc. That’s Marc with a “c.”

Marc was a semi-retired businessman with grown children. Looking for a way to stay active and contribute in new ways to his community, Marc applied to volunteer.

“He’s the best thing that happened to me,” says Mark about his friend of the same name. Mark and Marc get together a few times a month for a movie or a meal. “My favorite was going out on Marc’s boat.” Four years into their match, Mark says he feels like an extension of Marc-with-a-c’s family.

“The  friendship is going so well. Marc is like the best friend I never had. He treats me with real respect.”

And when we contacted volunteer Marc for this story? He was spending a summer day in Falmouth – with his Friend, Mark. “I feel good showing Mark that life can be fun. It’s been really rewarding to see his growth and the difference that this friendship has made in his life.”

Want to make a new friend? Want to be a friend to someone else?  Learn more here