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Friendship Circle works to reopen amid COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 9:25 PM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-14 22:25:39-04

FOX POINT-- Friendship Circle is a non-profit organization that helps people with special needs in many ways, from providing social and inclusion clubs to art classes and work skills.

The non-profit opened its new building located in Fox Point earlier this year but due to COVID-19, the organization had to close its doors and move its outreach mission to virtual get-togethers. Now that they are slowly reopening, they wanted to do something that symbolizes unity, people coming together during rough times.

“We want to utilize this time to create something beautiful, nice, and accepting,” said Levi Stein, Executive Director of Friendship Circle.

The mural concept was created by High School junior, Mia Greyz. The mural features puzzle pieces, coming together to large a scenic picture featuring mountains. Along with the mural are the words, love, diversity, and acceptance. Mia said it was important for her to create something that represents the mission behind Friendship Circle.

“The majority of it comes from the friendships circles drive to rebuild, improve, and make it a better place and a more inclusive place,” said Greyz.

The mural took about two weeks to complete and Tuesday afternoon the finishing touches were added. Friendship Circle invited their participants to paint their own part of the mural on the wall.

“Even when he was painting inside, he smiles constantly so you know that he loves it,” said Jenna Dinapoli, whose brother is in the Friendship Circle program.

For Stein, it was important to include the members they serve.

“The art studio is a concept where we want kids and adults with special needs to feel comfortable but also a place where people of all abilities are welcome,” said Stein.

For Friendship Circle member, Neil Heller this is why he loves the organization because of the people willing to love and accept everyone.

“People who are friendly and nice and loyal and generous,” said Heller.

The organization is inviting the public to come out and visit the cafe, all the proceeds go back into the non-profit. Their art room is open but appointment only.

To find out more about Friendship Circle, click here.

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