Sunday Friends Foundation

Rating: 5 stars   11 reviews


PO Box 24887 San Jose CA 95154-4887 USA


Mission: Sunday Friends empowers families to break the generational cycle of poverty by fostering positive development in children while educating and guiding parents to support their children's life success. Model: Children and parents work together to learn, earn and serve the community.

Target demographics:

very low-income families

Direct beneficiaries per year:

785 children, 385 moms, 192 dads + 2,365 volunteers

Geographic areas served:

Santa Clara County, California


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  

2 people found this review helpful

Sunday Friends has been providing a working alternative to charity for low income San Jose families for about 20 years. Its a great place for volunteers to come work with the families (kids and adults) and be part of a program that is make a real difference. The programs are very well organized and a dedicated set of core volunteers and staff keep it smooth. Independent studies have also shown that the model of "earning" rather than handouts is really working in this program.
For volunteers, the program has provided a very satisfying and enriching experience.

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

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  

2 people found this review helpful

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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