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Friendship Circle of Virginia

Building friendships

We’re on social media!

The Friendship Circle of Virginia (FCVA) is a non profit organization that encourages companionship and social opportunities for children and individuals with disabilities by helping to create meaningful social experiences at home and throughout the community. 

Community

As a community we are all responsible for one another. Friendship Circle is dedicated to creating community partnerships to combine our efforts and raise awareness about our community members with disabilities as well as their families. Everyone has a right to true friendship and belonging and that attitude starts with us. By focusing on our children, our entire community will grow with understanding and acceptance.

Friends

Teens are extremely aware of the prejudices and stereotypes in today’s society and are uniquely qualified to affect a change in our culture. As our teen friends spend time enjoying games, sports, baking, or whatever activity their buddy chooses, a bond of trust and friendship develops and they become role models and discover the unique abilities of their buddies in addition to seeing the social impact they’re making on an entire family.

Family

The children and young adults with disabilities thrive as they gain confidence in social settings and are able to enjoy activities with their very own friends. The experience fosters compassion, responsibility, appreciation, leadership, loyalty and a stronger sense of community. For children and teenagers, nothing is more empowering.

About Us


Our Mission

The Friendship Circle of VA encourages companionship and social opportunities for children and individuals with disabilities by helping to create meaningful social experiences at home and throughout the community. This is accomplished by facilitating friendships and creating opportunities with teen friends and encourages understanding, acceptance, and true friendship within our communities. Creating these experiences will enable our youth to grow into leaders who appreciate the differences amongst us and embrace our similarities. 


Our Facebook Page

Programs

Friends @Home

The core program pairs teens with individuals with disabilities for weekly home visits during the school year, and these visits are enhanced by a full range of innovative group activities and events. Together, these programs create a special atmosphere of acceptance and love, demonstrating that all people, regardless of the obstacles and challenges they may face, are in need of friendship.

FCVA Junior Board

l learn about non-profits, create programming, delve a bit deeper into the world of disabilities and become ambassadors to their own communities to raise awareness for people with disabilities.

Friends @Services

Upon request, FCVA Teen Friends accompany FCVA members to their place of worship allowing every family to be together and each person the opportunity to fully benefit from a spiritual moment in their own way.

Team Friendship

Team Friendship Miami 2016 is coming up in January and is a chance to experience a weekend with a group of runners/walkers (including you!) who participate in the Full or Half Marathon to benefit the Friendship Circle of VA and children with disabilities. Sign up and find out more at the website: teamfriendship.org/fcrva

“FCVA has been such a blessing in our lives. We love how excited our daughter is to see her buddies every week, but it’s a unique joy for us to see how excited they are to see her. Watching the sweet bond between our autistic daughter and her buddies touches our hearts every week. Friendship Circle has done so much to expand inclusion in Richmond and that means the world to our family.”

Kira Marx

FCVA Parent

Upcoming Events

Friends

Friends can sign up for weekly visits with a buddy or for occasional programs as needed.

Please fill in each form below.

Friends have full access to ideas, rewards, and prizes at fcconnect and with their mobile apps for Android and iPhone


Members

Being a member at Friendship Circle provides the incredible opportunity of having social experiences in your home and in the community

Please fill out all the forms below to register.

Community Partners

Sportable

Community Sponsors


Friendship Circle of VA is sponsored in part by the Richmond Jewish Foundation Genesis Fund

Our Board

Dr. Peter Heyman

Pediatrician for 17 years with the practice Overton, Wiley, Kirchmier, Terry and Rowe.

Dr. Norman J. Geller, Ph.D. NCED

Dr. Geller teaches at the VCU school of education and U of R Law School in the disability law clinic.  He works on the autism assessment team through Commonwealth Autism and the adhd/mood disorders clinic at VTCC.  He has an assessment and training company called autism and educational diagnostics, llc that provides assessment in psychoeducational assessment and autism and am a national trainer for autism assessment. Also, he is on the CEDC board for diagnostics and board of autism society of central Virginia.

Dawn Siegel

Dawn Siegel had an extensive career in electoral politics and today spends her time as a community volunteer, serving on the board of directors of Communities in Schools of Richmond, the Excel to  Excellence Foundation, and the Faison School for Autism Foundation.

Dr. Harry L. Gewanter

Pediatrician who cares for children and youth with disabilities, especially those with rheumatic diseases.

Ruth Nathanson Greene

Ruth Nathanson Greene is an attorney focusing her practice on representing individuals in workers’ compensation litigation and other health care and benefit matters.  She is currently of counsel at GreeneHurlocker, PLC.

Leigh Martinez, MS, CCC-SLP, BCBA

Leigh Martinez is speech language pathologist studying to be a board certified behavior analyst.  Her focus is early intervention and she is conversationally fluent  in Spanish and versed in basic sign language. She is the proud mother of 4 children and thrilled be both a board member and participant in Friendship Circle.

Hana Hecht

Hana Hecht is a social studies teacher at Douglas Freeman High School in Henrico County.

Andrea Costanzo

Andrea Costanzo is a special education teacher at a private day school.

Our Staff

Sarah Kranz

Sarah Kranz

Director

Dr. Sarah Kranz-Ciment, PT, DPT, founder and director of the Friendship Circle of Virginia, is a physical therapist and has been a strong advocate for the disability community for more than ten years.

Jeff Matherne

Jeff Matherne

Volunteer Coordinator

Jeff is an alumnus of Virginia Commonwealth University where he earned his degree in Psychology. Previously, he has led a team at the Faison School for Autism, where he specialized in plan development and treatment of individuals with severe spectrum disorders, aged 2-22. Jeff currently works on education
al enrichment and emotional stability with at-risk youth through local non-profit organizations and is the local branch Volunteer Coordinator for an international non-profit that educates and provides peer-mentoring for emotionally and cognitively disabled youth. Jeff currently provides Therapeutic Mentoring through a client-centered approach.

Hallie Weinstein

Hallie Weinstein

Office Manager

Looking to become a sponsor?

Sponsors provide monetary or in-kind support for FCVA programs and allow us to continue serving our children and our community. 

Donate now!

Get in touch


Phone:

804-740-2000 x4

More Information:

The Friendship Circle is today’s fastest growing Jewish organization for children with disabilities. With over 89 locations worldwide the Friendship Circle has cultivated friendships between 5,000 children and close to 11,000 teen friends.