Sunday Friends Foundation
Rating: 5 stars 3 reviews
Issues: Children & Youth, Homeless & Housing, Human Services
Location: PO Box 24887 San Jose CA 95154 USA
Programs: 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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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.