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Founding Story

The Story Behind We've Got Friends

Candi Carter

My name is Candi Carter; I'm a wife and mother of two children. I decided to start a special needs hangout group because kids like my son Emerson (18-years-old) literally have no friends. Emerson is a teenager with special needs - he can't be dropped off at an activity and usually just tags along with us or his sister and her activities. So, I decided to look for other parents with teens like Emerson and found a space to bring the kids together where they could be just like their peers...eating pizza, listening to music, dancing, playing, etc...


The kids are thrilled to attend the groups and have a social circle they can call their very own. It may seem like a simple idea (for us typical folks) but it has an enormous impact on the kids and their families who attend these social groups. When I saw the joy on their faces from just seeing each other and singing Happy Birthday when one of the teens had a birthday - I decided to call the organization, "WE'VE GOT FRIENDS." 

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