CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Since the pandemic began Sue Schreiber has been utilizing her computer a lot more.

Schreiber is the family coordinator for the Charlotte nonprofit called "Friendship Circle".

It allows teenagers and children with special needs the opportunity to build meaningful friendships.

“Kids with special talents don’t always have friendships, and teens sometimes don’t feel like they can reach out because they have to be cool," says Schreiber. "But in this program it doesn’t matter. Everybody’s friends.”

Since the pandemic began, Schreiber has been organizing programs for the kids online, but once this is all over, there will soon be a new facility for them to use.

Bentzion Groner is the executive director of Friendship Circle and says they’ve been talking about building an all inclusive fun zone for years.

“In the last year or two is when we started getting serious about learning what type of facility will help us incorporate friendships that we’re creating and give them a home and give them an ability to thrive," he says.

The fun zone will be 6,000 square feet that’ll feature a parent lounge, sensory park, and a treehouse that will include a wheel chair lift.

The facility costs $1.5 million and so far they’ve raised a little over 80 percent of the funds.

Construction will begin in the next month, and while Groner is excited he also knows just how important this building is for children with special needs and disabilities.

“They don’t get invited to birthday parties or they don’t have playdates after school," he says. "There’s a lot of focus and emphasis on education and on therapy and medical which is all very important, but what happens after school? What happens in the free time and too often kids with special needs are isolated and limited.”

While Schreiber continues to virtually connect with kids from the program, she too is excited to see everyone enjoy this new building once it’s completed

Friendship Circle is still raising money to finish paying for the facility which they are hoping will open by Spring of 2021.

If you would like to make a donation you can do so here.