You’ve got a friend in me


Max Christopher

Students from Norwin at You’ve Got a Friend Day.

Ashley Cramer and Max Christopher

     Every year Interact Club, JROTC, FCCLA, National Honors Society, and Peer Buddy and Mentor Club participate in You’ve Got a Friend Day, where students go to Twin Lakes and spend the day with a special needs buddy. You’ve Got a Friend Day was held on Wed. Oct. 7, and students spent the day hanging out with their buddy and participating in different activities set up throughout the park. Activities ranged from fishing, dancing, boating, outdoor board games, and bounce houses. 

     “I look forward to this event every year,” said senior Ashley Cumpston. “I love being able to spend the day with them and make their week a little bit brighter.”

     High school students are paired with buddies from the high school, middle school, and elementary schools around the Pittsburgh area.  This event has become one of the most popular club events in the high school. 

      “My favorite part of participating in You’ve Got a Friend Day was most definitely getting to fish with my buddy,” said senior Triniti Joy. “I really enjoyed being able to spend the day with him. I hope I am able to have another opportunity to see him again and do more activities!” 

      This event gives students the chance to make new friends and interact with others. It enables both volunteers and students an opportunity to take some time off from school and spend a day creating friendships.

Students paddle on paddle boats at Twin Lakes. (Max Christopher)

     “You’ve Got a Friend Day is all about joy and inclusion,” said senior Maddie Butina. “Spending time together gives students fun and unique experiences in a setting of continual support and friendship.”

     You’ve Got a Friend Day brings together schools from across the Pittsburgh area to participate.

     Interact Club advisor Mrs. Spang commented on coordinating the event.

     “My role is to get around 90 high school students and take them to be buddies,” Spang said. “The most difficult part has been getting enough volunteers. The most fulfilling part is watching everyone enjoy each other all day.”

     Students who volunteered were responsible for providing a $3 check and permission form to Mrs. Spang by the Wednesday prior to the event.

     “I’m responsible for getting permission forms, getting other clubs coordinated, and getting volunteers,” Spang said. “I try to tell [students] about the events and try to find someone else who has been there and talk about it to them.”

     Mr. Amic, advisor for National Honors Society, also joined to help on You’ve Got a Friend Day.

     “It is a positive day all round,” Amic said. “The most rewarding part is seeing the connection between the volunteers and their buddies. The great thing is that everyone has a fun and positive experience.”

     When asked about how he would “sell” You’ve Got a Friend Day to students who had never volunteered before, Mr. Amic had this to say:

     “I would just explain to them how much fun and rewarding it is for the students,” Amic said. “By volunteering, they are bringing joy to someone else. It’s also a nice fall day spent outside for a good cause.”