Connection of Friends Quick Notes

Raise a Glass to COF Fundraiser—September 27th


Come Celebrate COF’s 2nd Anniversary and Raise a Glass to our EXCEPTIONAL participants!

To purchase tickets, click Register Now

For additional information, please visit our Events tab.

Connection of Friends Open House

COF Open HouseConnection of Friends is hosting an open house for new participants and their families on Monday, October 13th from 11:00 am-2:00 pm.  Come meet our professional staff, take a tour of our facility and learn more about our programming.

To RSVP or for more information, contact Rose McGowan, Program Director, at (630) 260-0922 or at  All family members are welcome to attend!


Who We Are

Connection of Friends is a community-based program that provides a place for teens, age 16 and older, and adults with special needs to gather socially with an emphasis on life skill, volunteer and recreational activities on a daily basis and Saturday evenings.   Our primary purpose is for participants to engage in meaningful ways within the community and create lasting relationships.

Who We Are

Some of the many faces at Connection of Friends!

Where We Are Located

Connection of Friends is located at Hope Presbyterian Church, 1771 S. Wiesbrook Road, Wheaton. (Connection of Friends is not affiliated with Hope Presbyterian Church).

What We Offer

COF operates Monday through Friday with varied options of Noon-6:00 p.m. or Noon-3:00 p.m. or 3-6:00 p.m. Our Saturday Night Socials are held from 6-9:00 p.m. Participants sign-up for 13-week sessions and select the specific days and time options. Connection of Friends is only closed on traditional holidays.

Week-day programming includes the planning and preparing of a daily meal; volunteering at a food pantry and nursing home;  volunteering for SCARE (School & Community Assistance for Recycling Composting Education); music; art; gardening;  fitness/yoga/nutrition; product creation and community lunch.  Dinner & Dancing with Friends is offered on select Mondays each session.

Saturday Night Socials

Each Saturday Night Social is themed based on suggestions from our participants.  Examples of past themes include Mad Scientist Night, Country Western Night, Luau, Sports Teams, Neon Party and of course Halloween! We also celebrate birthdays once a month with a Birthday Party Saturday Night where participants decorate and enjoy cupcakes, (please click on the photo album to see pictures).

What Makes Us Unique

  • Programming centered around socialization
  • Participant Profile packet filled out by families and participants
  • In-take meeting scheduled with the Program Director and Program Leader
  • Constant communication
  • 3-week check-in for new participants
  • Visual supports including individualized schedules and behavior supports
  • Practicing volunteer skills prior to volunteering
  • Continuation of basic business model of product creation introduced in transition programs

Friends, Friends, Friends Music Video


Session Schedules

Please click on the link to see what a typical week at COF looks like.  To see what is planned for our Saturday Night socials, click on any Saturday on our calendar and you will be linked to a specific theme and schedule of activities.

COF Week Day Session Schedule

Dinner & Dancing with Friends

Dinner & Dancing with Friends is a NEW program focusing on the preparation and eating of an evening meal.  Participants not only prepare dinner, but continue to work on a variety of life skill activities including setting the table, manners, table discussions and cleaning up.  Other details are as follows:

  • Designated Mondays from 3-6:00 pm
  • Pre-determined menu for each Monday offered
  • Limited to 6 participants
  • Flat fee
  • Activity rotations, including dancing, will be scheduled
  • Gluten Free or other dietary considerations are not available
Dinner & Dancing with Friends

What was on the menu? Meatloaf and mashed potatoes, spinach lasagna & tacos! (Click on an image to begin the slide show).