FRIENDS IN DEED
An Open Door For All
Since 1991, Friends has helped transform many thousands of lives through our programs and services. We provide emotional support for anyone with a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS, cancer or other life-threatening physical illnesses… their family, friends, and caregivers… and anyone dealing with grief and bereavement. And we run a major HIV prevention program for teens in NYC public schools.
All of our services are free of charge.
THE BIG GROUP
Sharing Feelings, Speaking the Truth, Living In the Moment
It all starts with the Big Group – the heart and soul of our work. The premise behind this meeting is deceptively simple. It’s about hearing and speaking the truth and living life in the moment. At the Big Group, we have the opportunity to express our emotions by sharing our feelings and experiences. We begin to recognize that we’re not alone on this journey and that it’s possible to have a life of quality, no matter how challenging the circumstances.
How to Start
ONE-ON-ONE CRISIS COUNSELING
One of the most unique aspects of our work is the availability of one-on-one crisis counseling for anyone in need of more individualized support. Every month, 100 counseling appointments are scheduled with our exceptional team of therapists. While not intended as ongoing therapy, our one-on-one crisis counseling does provide essential assistance for people at particularly difficult periods in their lives.
Body Work, Yoga,& Meditation
Friends recognizes the interconnection between our physical and emotional well-being. That’s why we have a team of bodyworkers available to provide 100 bodywork sessions each month, that can include Reiki, Shiatsu, Reflexology, Polarity, Swedish, and CranioSacral Therapy and Breema. In addition, we have weekly classes in yoga and guided meditation.
Workshops & Seminars
We believe that information is power. Our experts offer advice on communicating with doctors, managing medications, and understanding the relationship between mainstream and alternative treatments. Our nutritional program shows the role food can play in dealing with illness. Our workshops enable people to make empowering choices. We help people develop the practical tools needed to move beyond preconceptions, whether dealing with illness, grief, or personal crisis.
LIFE-SAVING WORK WITH TEENS
HIV Prevention Program
Teens are one of the fastest growing segments of the AIDS epidemic. That’s why we created our School Program. In cooperation with the NYC Department of Education, we provide free HIV prevention workshops at public schools and at our location. What makes this program especially powerful is that our school speakers are living with HIV. Since the School Program began, we have reached more than 70,000 students.
Over 250 Helping Hands & Hearts
Friends is fortunate to have over 250 dedicated volunteers who generously give their time and talents – working an astounding 1,500 hours every month. They work at the reception desk, answer phones, accompany people to doctor visits, speak at schools, help with fundraising, provide invaluable outreach assistance for those who are homebound or hospitalized, and on and on. Without the help of these incredible men and women, Friends’ staff would be unable to accomplish all we do.
Friends In Deed STAFF
Uniquely Focused On Our Programs
We have six full-time and five part-time staff members. Unlike many organizations, the majority of our staff is actually involved in the hands-on work we do: leading Big Groups, one-on-one counseling, visiting hospitals, conducting workshops and more. To be as cost-efficient as possible, some of our key staff also play administrative roles. Plus, we have a small, dedicated fundraising team to support the work.
Cynthia O’Neal, President
Robert McNamara, Managing Director
Cynthia Burke, Outreach Director
Jon Read, Client Services Director
Michael Jones, School Program Director
Michele Esparza, Program Administrator
Michael Cohen, Administrative Assistant
Board of Directors
Robert Levithan, Co-Chairman
Hamilton South, Co Chairman
Mike Nichols, Chairman Emeritus
Cynthia O’Neal, President
Kenneth Starr, Treasurer