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A letter from the Directors

We began our Friendship Circle in 2004, serving just a few children with special needs in a single-family home with an adjacent in-laws quarters. Now, fifteen years later, we serve over 150 children and are blessed with over 200 teenage volunteer friends and mentors. Our adult program, providing a continuum of care for our children, has blossomed as well. If you were to visit on a Sunday, you would find every inch of our campus packed with children enjoying spirited activities with friends. But we realize that the population in need grows yearly. Every day we receive calls from parents, frightened and alone, unsure of where to turn after their child is diagnosed. While we are there for these families, we know there is so much more we can do - and must do. We are grateful to all of our supporters who joined us this year, and for those who have stood alongside us over the years. Each one of you has illuminated the magic of friendship.

A few years ago we began planning a new 20,000 sq. ft. Community Center for children and families with special needs. We are proud to report that our plans and zoning for our project have been fully approved! Our new Campus will serve as the hub of our programs and wrap-around services, allowing our organization to serve more children and provide more comprehensive services.

This new campus is a life-long dream for countless families and, thanks to the leadership of our board of directors, we are now ready to build for our children’s future. In July we received a State allocation of nearly $300,000 to get the project off the ground, thanks to the advocacy of our good friend, State Representative Vance Aloupis. We recently launched our first evening fundraising event – our Heart & Soul Dinner, on November 7th. Our Circle continues to grow, with the community’s most prominent foundations and many new supporters joining us this year in our efforts. Staff, volunteers, donors, and partners, we will continue our mission, and work towards our vision – to build a more inclusive Miami.

Rabbi Yossi & Nechama Harlig

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