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Meet One of Our Volunteer Superstars - Lily Gotel!

Thursday, 28 October, 2021 - 2:25 pm

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This week on the blog we're highlighting FC volunteer Lily Gotel! Lily has been involved with Friendship Circle for many years now and her dedication to this organization is unbeatable. She is passionate, kind, and always wants to be involved in one of our many programs. We truly love having her!

Interview 


What school do you go to and what grade are you in? 

I go to Northwest School and I’m a senior. 


What extracurricular activities do you participate in?

I’m the varsity volleyball team manager, I play varsity basketball, I run track, and I’m a part of the Jewish student union at my school. I also work at Baskin Robbins. 


What do you like to do in your free time? 

I really like hanging out with friends, playing sports, and I like babysitting. I babysit these two little kids which I really love doing. 


How long have you been involved with Friendship Circle?

I started volunteering at Friendship Circle in the 7th grade with the MVP program. Once I completed that, I immediately started volunteering at Sunday Circle and participating in the [email protected] program. 


What made you want to join The Friendship Circle?

I didn’t use to live in the U.S. so I didn’t really know about Friendship Circle when I was growing up. However, I have cousins who live in Connecticut who did Friendship Circle and a lot of people from my middle school had siblings that were a part of it and they always talked about it. Also, my family is friends with Esther so I knew about it from them. I think one of the biggest reasons why I joined Friendship Circle is because when I was in elementary school there was a boy who I believe had autism. I just remember always volunteering to help him and escort him and I really loved doing that. So, when I found out that there was an organization where I could do exactly that, I jumped at the opportunity to volunteer and I’ve been doing it ever since. 


Are you on the leadership board? If so, what does it mean to be a leader to you?

Yes, I’m on the leadership board. I think being a leader means setting a good example and being approachable. What I mean by that is you don’t close yourself off and you make sure people know that they can approach you and can come talk to you about anything. I also think that a leader is a person who resolves conflict and who goes the extra mile but is not boastful about it. They do the extra work because they care and they genuinely want to do it. 


How has the Friendship Circle impacted your life? 

When I started doing Friendship Circle it opened my mind in a way that I didn’t think was possible. Every time I went to a Sunday Circle I learned something new. It’s also helped me with my social life. Friendship Circle has helped me apply what I’ve learned to help me with my everyday life, my relationships, and my friendships. I’ve also gained connections with children with special needs which is truly special. 


What has been your favorite FC program?

I think my favorite program is [email protected] I think it’s so fun and it’s more intimate which makes it more special. The kids get the opportunity to show you things that they really like to do at home so you get to know them in a different way. For example, with my [email protected] buddy, Charlotte, we get to be in a place where she feels so comfortable and she has a good routine. She gets to walk me through her routine and I get to see what makes her life and smile which gives me that extra sense of connectedness. Also I love how it’s different from Sunday Circle because they aren't specific activities that you’re telling them to do. You get to do exactly what they want to do.


If you could describe the Friendship Circle in one word, what would it be?

Special. 

 

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