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Sunday Friends Foundation

Rating: 5 stars   3 reviews 949

Nonprofit Issues:

Children & Youth, Homeless & Housing, Human Services


PO Box 24887 San Jose CA 95154 USA


Sunday Friends empowers families in need to break the cycle of poverty. Children and parents earn basic necessities while they contribute to their community, learn life skills and develop self-sufficiency.


Carefully designed programs create a community atmosphere where English literacy, nutrition, academics and financial and social skills are taught through direct interaction between hundreds of low income families and thousands of community volunteers. Financial responsibility and self-respect are also fostered because participants earn "tickets", then redeem their tickets to "purchase" necessities and toys. Ways to earn tickets include: writing thank you letters to donors, preparing and serving nutritious meals, engaging in educational games, creating artistic and educational displays, producing craft gifts for people in hospitals and nursing homes and tending the grounds. Sunday Friends also provides English as a Second Language instruction, healthy eating classes, financial literacy counseling, one on one music lessons, developmental activities for preschoolers and meaningful holiday activities.

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Reviews for Sunday Friends Foundation

Rating: 5 stars  

Sunday Friends provides the support environment for low income families to become self-sufficient rather than being dependent on charity from the community. Adults get awarded with tickets while they learn to manage financials of their family, be better parents and contribute to the community. Children get awarded with tickets while they participate in educational programs (reading, games, cooking and music) as well as contribute back to the community. Families work together to meet their needs and use their tickets to purchase basic life necessities from the store that donors donate to. This frees the families to use their limited cash for other life necessities such as rent, insurance, etc. This is truly a unique program.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I was very touched by Sunday Friends when I saw a 7 years old girl excitedly buy a tricycle for her 4 years old brother with tickets that she had earned over the year. The strength of the program also stood out for me when children proudly bought their school supplies with tickets that they had earned. Sunday Friends kids are caring and realize the value of earning and wise-spending from the beginning.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I want to help Sunday Friends to replicate this wonderful programs by extending it to communities beyond San Jose. This is a program that everyone can benefit from.

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Rating: 5 stars  

This is the best volunteer work I have done for families. It provides life skills learning for each member of the group as well as the opportunities to serve others and earn things for themselves. Because of this the adults and the children retain their dignity and are not cast in a passive hands out role. I work mostly with the children and they are so very proud of the gifts they have made for others such as elders in convalescent homes or children in hospitals. It is great therapy for this old heart to see the smiles of accomplishment and satisfaction on these young faces.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing some of the early recipients of the training and programs of Sunday Friends come back to serve as volunteers themselves.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to figure out how to use it as model community service in other locations or develop a training program that people from other places could attend and learn how to make it work where they live.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Sunday Friends works with over 900 families in need in San Jose, California. These are the families who demonstrate program after program that they prefer to earn what they need and to give back to their community rather than to receive mere handouts. The parents care deeply that their children experience the satisfaction of giving; they don't want them to self-identify as charity cases. They want their children's lives to be different from their own on-going struggle for day-to-day survival.

It is a joy to help the families who are working so hard to help themselves. That is why I have volunteered with Sunday Friends for the past 14 years. Janis

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

helping struggling families build confidence, practical life skills, healthier self-identities and positive futures. I see parents learn to mentor their children and support their success in school. I see children develop a love for learning and a belief that they can succeed. I see families work together to earn what they need, replacing the habitual desperate survival tactics that served them previously with honest productivity and pride.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

raise enough money to expand the programming to new locations to include more families and communities.

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