Before Nate Kantor’s first time volunteering with The Friendship Circle of Washington, he was nervous: His cousin had a rough start on her first day, and Kantor wasn’t sure what to expect. All he knew of The Friendship Circle was that it was a local Jewish organization that served children with special needs. “But I fell in love with it instantly,” he says. Now a junior in Running Start at Bellevue College, Kantor volunteers at The Friendship Circle regularly and serves on its teen leadership board. A highlight of his experience is participating in the organization’s Friends@Home program, where he pays weekly home visits to a buddy. There are also monthly board meetings and regular events every other Sunday — and Kantor does it all.
Kantor says the communication skills he’s learned through his work with The Friendship Circle have made an impact on the way he talks to everyone in his life — an approach he calls “one mouth, two ears,” as he tries to listen more than he speaks. Since Kantor hopes to attend the University of Washington next year, he wants to continue his work at The Friendship Circle. “This experience teaches you about what humanity is and what it could be,” he says. “These kids have nothing but love to give. It’s something we could all stand to see a little more of.”