By Cindy Himes
This week, we are privileged to feature another one of the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation’s community partners – Friends to Friends!
Friends to Friends children and their family members have attended Penguins home games as guests of the Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin charity suite programs; and in recent years, Friends to Friends has also benefitted from the Penguins Foundation’s grant program.
Founded 22 years ago, Friends to Friends brings special needs and non-special needs children and their families together in a social environment through sports they can play or watch. The purpose of the program is to bring greater awareness through integration.
The charity prides itself on being unique in that it does not segregate the children, but brings them together to play, participate, and learn a respect and enjoyment for each other.
Similar to other 501c3 non-profits, the past year has been especially difficult with most of the children’s activities postponed due to the pandemic. But things are slowly getting back to normal, and Friends to Friends has scheduled its first outing of the year with a bowling event set for September at Nesbits Lanes in Plum Boro.
In addition to bowling, Friends to Friends hosts a wide variety of activities for families including fishing, baseball, and Penguins hockey.
Friends to Friends was established in 1995 by George O’Donnell and is funded solely by private contributions. George is a parent of a special-needs child, who realized the need for increased awareness and respect between children with and without disabilities in a social environment.
Join the Penguins Foundation in their support of Friends to Friends! Any individuals or businesses interested in sponsoring a Friends to Friends activity, please visit friendstofriends.org, and click on sponsorships. Or, to communicate directly with a Friends to Friends officer, email Friendstofriends1997@gmail.com.