In a community with endless opportunities for things to do and plenty of people to meet, a unique program, funded by Sioux Empire United Way, helps adults with disabilities connect with their community and with others.
Augustana University’s FRIENDSLink program provides social/recreational and educational activities for adults with disabilities. Augustana students coordinate and participate in the program, creating a unique connection within our community.
Attending a sporting event, participating in book clubs, going to a movie…the activities are just the vehicle used to create new friendships and connections. One student noted, “I like FRIENDSLink because I get to hang out with my friends and I got my job working in concessions and in the dining room because I volunteered as a FRIENDSLinker at the football concessions.”
Each year, about 80 individuals with disabilities participate in 160 small and large group activities. When asked what their favorite part about FRIENDSLink was, one student responded, “I get to be friendly with everybody.”
A gift to Sioux Empire United Way of $25 provides one FRIENDSLink participant with activity supply fees, allowing them individual choice and opportunities to socialize with friends.