Our Info

Our Story

In the summer of 2011, Terry and Ginny Kline, the grandparents of two special needs children, began researching the availability of programs for special needs students once they reach high school and as they complete transition services. While vocational and life skill programs are taught and reinforced within the educational system, many of these learned skills are quickly lost because there are limited community-based programs available. As this population matures, it becomes increasingly more difficult for parents to keep teenagers and young adults with special needs meaningfully engaged when not in school. Connection of Friends, a 501 (c) (3) organization, was created to provide a place for social gathering and an opportunity for young adults with special needs to participate within their community.

As featured in the December 2016 edition of Naperville Magazine, Connection of Friends provides programming options for after-school as well as post-transition participants.

2016 Naperville Magazine–Connection of Friends

Our Mission

Connection of Friends has been created to enrich the lives of teenagers and adults with special needs with an emphasis on social, life skill, volunteer and fitness activities. Our primary purpose is for participants to engage in meaningful ways within the community and create lasting relationships.

Contact Information:

Our office opens at 9:30 am, Monday-Thursday and 8:30 am on Fridays. If you need to contact our office after 12 o’clock, Monday-Thursday, and 9:00 am on Fridays, please leave a message on our voicemail. Messages will be checked throughout the afternoon as programming permits.

For more information about Connection of Friends please contact Jamie Hager, Program Director at jhager@connectionoffriends.org.

Donations:

For those interested in making a monetary donation, please click the “Donate Button” or by check made payable to Connection of Friends.  All donations are tax deductible and will be acknowledged with an appropriate donation letter.

Mailing Address:

Connection of Friends, Inc.
1502 Coloma Place
Wheaton, IL 60189

COF News:

Please click on the following links to view our recent publicity.

My Suburban Life—Local Nonprofit Celebrates a Year of Making Special Friends

http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/2013/10/03/local-nonprofit-celebrates-a-year-of-making-special-friends/aihcxe/?pnref=ERCPA088E136

My Suburban Life—Photographs of COF Participants

http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/2013/10/01/connection-of-friends-5-photos/dbzn7mk/?view=all&r=f

“New Program for Special Needs Adults Receives $5,000 Grant”—Wheaton Patch

http://wheaton.patch.com/articles/connection-of-friends-new-program-for-special-needs-teens-adults-receives-5-000-grant-obesity-prevention-forward-dupage

“Wheaton-based programs helps those with developmental disabilities”—Daily Herald

http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20121126/news/711269827/

“New Program Offers Life Skills, Social Activity to Special Needs Teens and Adults”—Wheaton Patch

http://wheaton.patch.com/articles/connection-of-friends-wheaton-il-teens-young-adults-with-special-needs-can-continue-life-social-skills?ncid=newsltuspatc00000001