WESTPORT – Freida Hecht, a teacher and program coordinator at Beth Israel Synagogue of Westport/Norwalk, was among several community “Heroes” honored by the Lower Fairfield County chapter of the American Red Cross at a reception held on March 31 at the Trumbull Marriot. Hecht was cited for her “community impact.”
A crowd of close to 500 people, local dignitaries, and community and business leaders, was on hand to honor Hecht for her work with Circle of Friends, a volunteer-based organization that works with special needs children and teens throughout Fairfield County.
Hecht founded Circle of Friends several years ago when she noticed that young people with special needs were being excluded from activities that other children enjoyed. She set out to recruit high school students to visit the homes of children with special needs for “play dates.”
Today, Circle of Friends boasts 100 teen volunteers who visit and work with close to 100 special needs children and teens in Fairfield County. In addition, Circle of Friends hosts programs, events and activities for youth with special needs and their families throughout the year.
Hecht was named a Jewish Ledger 2010 Mover & Shaker.