No matter what. That describes the 12 ½ year commitment by Friends of the Children to serve and mentor under served, at risk youth from kindergarten through high school. Research has shown that the single most important factor for building resiliency in children who face the highest risks is a long-term, consistent relationship with a caring adult. Friends of the Children provides a dedicated, one-on-one mentor, or as they call it, a “Friend” for each youth no matter what for the full 12+ year time frame through a child’s most developmental times. So whether changing foster homes, changing schools, or facing home quarantine and social distancing in our current COVID environment, a Friend is partnering with each child and the child’s caregiver’s, parents and teachers to ensure the children may discover their limitless potential.
Locally, Central Oregon has 6 full time professional mentors employed who are paired with up to 8 children who are at a statistically high probability of risk. Of the children Friends serve nationwide,
- 60% have parents who did not graduate high school
- 50% have parents who were incarcerated
- 85% were born to a teen parent
We are lucky to have this organization here in Central Oregon and the demand for their service will surely grow as our population increases.
If you are interested in helping them out, donations are always helpful, but just as critical is the need to get the word out about what they do and how they can help. They encourage people to follow them on social media (Instagram, Facebook) and visit their website to read monthly ‘Stories with Friends’ where they share stories of the Mentors and their youth. Even if you aren’t able to donate, they’d love the work they do to be shared on social media, by email and word of mouth, so more people can learn about the amazing work their mentors do.