MILWAUKEE — On a cool morning, Sunday, August 27th, people came together in Milwaukee to raise money for an organization that works to improve the lives of those with special needs.

Participants on Sunday morning gathered at Ellsworth Park in Bayside to raise awareness of The Friendship Circle.

"Just a wonderful organization," Sarah Banck said. "I think everybody needs to be a part of society — meaning included."

The goal of The Friendship Circle is to help those with special needs lead better and more fulfilling lives.

"Sometimes, while they may have a good school program that they're going to, they may have a therapist, sometimes they just need a friend. They just want a kid to hang out with and just be like regular kids. We provide teenage volunteers to visit the home of a child with special needs to hang out and be friends," Levi Stein director of The Friendship Circle said.

The Friendship Circle

Community members on Sunday gathered for a fundraising walk to help support the cause, which Inessa Varkhovykh said is vital for her son, Gorgiy.

"We came from Ukraine, and for Gorgiy, it was so hard to find friends, find a place to be happy and learn new things and get better development. It's really important to be loved, to be with people," Varkhovykh said.



The interaction has made Gorgiy more outgoing.

Stein said he's seen the program help people flourish.


"It gives them the confidence to go back to school, to give, to do better in therapy, do better at home and to better all around," Stein said.

It's an effort to change lives, by connecting people.

The goal for this year's Walk4Friendship was more than $70,000. To learn more about the program, or to make a donation, CLICK HERE.