Friday, October 25, 2013

Coming Attraction: Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk

Skechers Pier-to-Pier Friendship Walk in Manhattan Beach
There's an amazing event coming up on Sunday, Oct. 27 — the Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk, which benefits kids with special needs as well as education.

I had a chance to visit the Skechers HQ in Manhattan Beach a few weeks ago, and it was so inspiring to hear about how the shoe company is making a real difference in children's lives.

The Skechers Foundation was formed in 2010 by the company's Greenberg family to make kids with special needs feel more welcome in schools and in the community. They also launched The Friendship Circle, where high school, middle school and even elementary school students befriend kids in their school with special needs and do simple things like eat lunch with them in the cafeteria or just hang out with them after school.

It's pretty amazing.

A group of bloggers, myself included, met a local family with a 16-year-old son who has autism and is non-verbal. He was joined by a friend of his from The Friendship Circle who explained how much she loved meeting up with him just to hang out.

She also explained his process. Instead of talking, they would communicate by writing things down. She would write down a question ("What would you like to do today?"), and then she would give him some choices ("Play Tic-Tac-Toe"; "Play Cards"; "Listen to Music") and he would circle which one he wanted.

And it was all so kind.

The walk on Sunday promotes that kind of sweet interaction between kids with and without special needs. You can still sign up. Registration is $25 for ages 3+. If you can't make it on Sunday, you can also donate here.

Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk
Manhattan Beach Pier
Sunday, Oct. 27
Registration: $25 (ages 3+; registration includes a T-shirt, gift bag and medal)

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