The Family Experience

big brother little brother paintingInterest in our participants extends to their families: understanding – and respecting – the nuances of their relationships with parents, siblings, spouses, helpers. It’s about respecting family history, cultural influence and life experience and working together to identify ways to support the participant.

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

If a participant has a guardian, he or she may be involved in the process of identifying a right-fit volunteer for the participant. Guardians may be included in monthly phone check-ins with the caseworker, who remains available as a resource through the duration of the match. Assistance is also available to qualifying families experiencing economic hardship.

With questions, contact our Friend 2 Friend team.