Summer Programs Bring Many to FC

20150810_114223Ah, August. Those last few weeks of summer where offices are only half-filled as everyone ekes out just a few more lazy days.

Unless, of course, you’re at Friendship Circle where August is proving to be a very busy month. Thanks to programs like Allie’s Summer Camp and Backpacks & Brunch, training programs for staffers and visitors – lots of visitors from across the region and beyond – the buildin g had been bustling with people and 20150810_113246activity.

First up was the annual Backpacks & Brunch program, created by Lisa Gutkin and co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest, the event continues to grow. More than 40 women from across the region brought backpacks filled with school supplies for children who participate in Friendship Circle Jr. programs. As Gutkin noted, the program is designed to help families who are already dealing with many other things – like therapy sessions, doctors’ appointments and more — take one task off their must-do list. The backpacks will be distributed to the children – each bag was bought with a specific child in mind – during Allie’s Summer Camp.

IMG_1351At the same time, on the other side of the building, 25 teens from Camp Deeny Riback, a JCC MetroWest camp in Flanders, visited the Friendship Circle for a lunch and tour. During their visit, the teens made birthday cards for children and teens who participate in Friendship Circle programs and packed Shabbat in a Box packages that will be delivered to people in area hospitals.

A group of cyclists on a cross-country tour to raise money for  Friendship Circle locations nationwide made a stopover last week in Livingston and toured the future home of LifeTown before continuing on to their next destination.

IMG_1349FC staffers and volunteers, meanwhile, used some “downtime” to get trained in the “Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Program.” Offered by the Crisis Prevention Institute, FC staff learned how best to handle situations that arise regularly when working with children and teens. Everyone who took the course passed the exam at the end of the 8-hour training program and are now certified!

Allie’s Summer Camp will be kicking off on Sunday, Aug. 23 and already everyone is busy planning for the trips, activities and games the youngsters will be enjoying. Nearly 80 children will participate in this summer’s camp program. Joining them will be several hundred teen volunteers who will be taking a break from their own vacations to help ensure FC kids and their siblings gets the summer experience of a lifetime.

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