About the Friendship Circle

The Friendship Circle, not for profit organization, was born from innovation, where two compelling community needs and two target populations were creatively addressed through one synergistic program design.

  • Special Needs Children and their families need to be accepted and welcomed as members of the community. Children need to have positive and meaningful interactions (friendships) with their fully abled peers, and in turn, learn to be a friend. Their families need support, acceptance and respite opportunities.
  • Teens in middle and high school need to have meaningful volunteer opportunities during after school and weekend time, in which they can:
    • Interact with friends and peers from other schools;
    • Engage in teambuilding activities that help them develop a sense of responsibility and empathy toward others,
    • Regularly and meaningfully contribute to their community, and help other children, in a way that adults cannot.

Together, the volunteers, children, parents, staff and supporters who make up the Friendship Circle can perform miracles. To join the Friendship Circle Family, call (518-488-8992), or email chaya@capitalfriends.org


Friendship Circle is a non-profit organization that provides programs and support to the families of individuals with special needs. In addition to assisting individuals with special needs, the Friendship Circle enriches its vast network of volunteers by enabling them to reap the rewards of selfless giving.


We envision a world in which people who have special needs and their families experience acceptance, inclusion and friendship as contributing members of society. The Friendship Circle aims to create an environment for teens that will nurture a sense of connection to and responsibility for the greater  community through innovative and stimulating programs. We see this as essential for developing and producing the leaders of tomorrow.

How can you help complete the circle?

  • Do you know a teenager or someone of college age who would like to be a volunteer?
  • Are you willing to drive a volunteer to his or her destination?
  • Do you know a family that can use extra help in their home with children who have special needs?
  • Would you like to support our programs and help us continue the work of the Friendship Circle? Click here to Donate

Please contact: Chaya Rubin – (518-488-8992), or email Chaya@capitalfriends.org The Friendship Circle is made up of five parts: volunteers, children, parents, staff, and supporters. The true beauty of the Circle is how we all link together to form a seamless circle of friendship. Together, we can perform miracles.


“The most important thing I have learned is to look beyond stereotypes. I love the kids I work with and their parents. They have taught me so much about living with special needs, and not letting the challenges interfere with love and fun. This is an amazing experience.” – Volunteer


“The Friendship Circle was just what I was looking for. It is a unique community service organization in that it establishes a connection between two people that is rewarding for both. Both the volunteer and the buddy learn and grow in a loving environment; through interaction with one another, they gain perspective by broadening each other’s world.” – Volunteer


“The Friendship Circle is a wonderful program that has changed my life the moment I had stepped in its doors. Seeing the delight in each special child’s eyes had warmed my heart. You would think that this program would be about us, the teenagers, helping, and educating our new friends, but that is only part way true. I have learned so much from these kids, whether it was the bright way they looked at life, or the little stories they told me without even talking. The Friendship Circle is a very meaningful program and I hope everybody can one day have the same insightful experience I had.” – Volunteer