Friendship Circle International, a Chabad-Lubavitch network of community-based programs that pair up children with special needs and teenage volunteers, has been announced as a recipient of a prestigious national award.

Rabbi Levi and Bassie Shemtov, co-directors of the Michigan-based institution, wrote supporters after news broke of the organization's winning of a Manhattan Institute Award for Social Entrepreneurship.

The award, which will be formally presented along with a $25,000 donation at the institute's annual dinner this October, honors non-profit leaders who have found innovative, private solutions for America's most pressing social problems. No more than four are given at any one time.

"We are truly humbled by this honor and will accept it on behalf of all of the volunteers, families, children and donors that make our circle so beautiful," wrote the Shemtovs.