Making a difference in the lives of youth with special needs!


Get Involved

Through the Friendship Foundation volunteer program, remarkable bonds are forged between children with intellectual/developmental disabilities and their new friends.

In addition to making an impact on a child, volunteers will see changes in themselves, becoming more fulfilled, self-confident, and empowered. Our volunteer program began in 2005 with 22 members. Today, more than 2,000 dedicated individuals participate in this wonderful program.

YOU can make a difference!

Our Programs vary from month to month. Please check out our current Program Calendar below!

Ready to get started?

1.  Using the link below, register and complete a profile on DaySmart, our platform for program signups.

2.  Allow 24 hours for the Friendship Foundation Staff to review your profile (we are closed on Saturdays and Sundays).

3.  Receive a “Welcome Email" from us letting you know that you can now sign up for programs. We can't wait to have you volunteer with us!

Sasha, Volunteer
"I started volunteering at my school's Friendship Club. I enjoyed hanging out with the kids so much that I decided to volunteer at programs outside of school. The kids are always so happy and I love being around them!"
Vaidehi, Volunteer
"I began volunteering at the Friendship Foundation around seven years ago. I’ve gotten to know so many of the kids and having the opportunity to hang out with them during camp each summer is so refreshing. Being away during the school year is draining, but whenever I’m in the South Bay and get to see my friends, I feel at home."

Programs Designed For Volunteers

We love seeing our young volunteers excel which is why we created programs specially designed for volunteers that encourage growth and leadership. We provide useful tools, skills, and information about working with the special needs population so our volunteers feel confident and prepared when they show up to their first program. Our volunteers are an integral part of our model and it is with their dedication that we are able to accomplish so much.

Volunteers at our Evening of Recognition 2022

Volunteer Recognition

Each May, we host an awards ceremony called Evening of Recognition where volunteers are celebrated for their time spent with the Friendship Foundation. Besides the awards listed below, we also give special recognition to outstanding Friendship School Clubs and recognize the leaders of the clubs. Volunteers are a gift to our program and we are grateful for their generosity.

Commitment to Excellence Award
Awarded to a deeply committed volunteer who demonstrates a dedication to their experience with the Friendship Foundation, which in turn contributes to the vibrancy of the entire communnity.
Volunteer of the Year Award
This award recognizes an outstanding volunteer whose unselfish and dedicated service to the Friendship Foundation has made a significance difference and mirrors the commitment to success that the Friendship Foundation carries.
Community Impact Award
This award recognizes volunteers that are positively impacting their communites in ways that inspire integrity and carry the Friendship Foundation mission along with them.
Exceptional Service Award
This volunteer recipient has made a significant impact on the Friendship Foundation and its particpants through programs, outstanding dedication, extraordinary competence, ingenuity, and making a difference in the lives of our students.
Friend of the Year Award
This award recognizes an outstanding volunteer's service, dedication, and commitment to upholding the values of friendship.
Program Innovator Award
This volunteer has gone above and beyond to have a major and measurable impact on the participants of the Friendship Foundation. These individuals have created, facilitated, and carried out programs through the Friendship Foundation for participants.

Peer To Peer Scholarship

The SKECHERS Foundation provides college scholarships to high school seniors who have also committed a considerable amount of volunteer time to the Friendship Foundation. A recommendation letter from the Director of the Friendship Foundation is required. Click below for more information.

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