A Christian Friendship Network

New Friends is a Christian-based friendship network connecting young adults in high school and college with families of children with special needs. This program is part of our Jesus Cares Ministries (JCM) which is a national outreach ministry to people with developmental disabilities, their families and communities. 


Its purpose is to build relationships by focusing on our abilities, not our disabilities, while creating a fun-filled atmosphere where the entire family feels safe, relaxed and happy!


We recently featured New Friends on Facebook. Listen to how the program has made a different to a high school student and to a parent.


Want to share your story? Email us at stories@tlha.org.

Case study

New Friends PaulManitowoc Lutheran High School started a New Friends program and the program has been blessed with 18 families and nearly 50 teens who regularly attend the events. 

The families have found a safe, welcoming environment where they can be themselves. The children don’t have to worry about being singled out or called a name. The parents can relax and socialize. All who come find fun, comfort and God’s love shared abundantly!

Brandon Glaeser, a volunteer teen, said about New Friends, I have made a whole lot of new friends. And it can be emotional. I can reach out to people and make a difference. I didn’t know I could before”. It’s results like this that push us forward. Teens learning about differences, acceptance and most importantly, sharing the Word of God.

It’s because of experiences like this that we host New Friends events and want to expand the program. We can reach out to those in need – offering both emotional and spiritual support.

Learn more

View our locations list to see if there is a New Friends or JCM program near you.

Connect with JCM on Facebook.

For more information about New Friends or to start a local program, contact Elli Bonack by email at eabonack@tlha.org.