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Special Friends Helps People Overcome Disabilities

Kimberly Davis holds one of her favorite Meowchi stuffed animals. Davis came out of her shell and has made many friends through Special Friends, a United Way Member Agency.

 

Before becoming involved with Special Friends, Kimberly Davis spent most of her time alone in her apartment, but now she’s blossomed into an extrovert with many friends.

"I was shy to go, (to Special Friends) but a friend told me not to be afraid, so I wasn’t — not too much," she said. "Once I started getting used to getting out of my apartment, it became easier and easier. I’ve made about 50 friends through the program. In my whole life before, I’d only had about five friends."

Special Friends is a United Way Member Agency for people with a variety of disabilities. Its programs and services are designed to enhance the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and the program’s goal is to promote the rights, dignity and full community inclusion of people with a developmental disability.

Assistance is provided in financial management, medical and housing matters, as well as crisis intervention and social interactions.

"It’s an awesome program. I love going to it," Davis said. "They’re all very positive. It’s a positive, positive atmosphere."

Davis has Tourette’s Syndrome and has become an advocate for people with disabilities through the Special Friends program.

"It really helps people understand. I was teased growing up. Most of us were," she said. "We’re humans, too. We like to socialize, we like to do new things. We’re able to do things. We help people understand our disabilities. We like to have fun, too."

Special Friends is one of many agencies and services that benefit from the local United Way campaign, which benefits a variety of non-profit agencies that help our neighbors throughout Northwest Montana.

For more information on making a difference in our community through supporting the United Way, call 406 752-7266.