My husband and I are very impressed by the successes of Friends of the Children. Upon coming into the program in kindergarten or first grade, each child is guaranteed a mentor for the next twelve years. At the Friendraiser each May, we hear about the accomplishments of children in the program. FOC has a high percentage of children who stay in school, avoid teen parenthood and stay out of the criminal justice system. Last summer I volunteered for the summer reading program and was very pleased to observe and be a small part of a well organized program that helps at-risk children.
I'm a supporter of Friends of the Children. As a parent and former teacher I appreciate the stability and support a group can add to a child's life. Having a long term "friend" who can help both academically and emotionally makes a huge difference for children who do not have a strong support system.
My husband and I have been amazed to hear about the impact Friends of Children has had on the children in the program. We attend the annual fundraiser for FOC and listen quietly to the stories of each child. They have been the given the chance they never had...the chance to learn and grow into people who will go on to not only succeed but to contribute their vast array of skills to the betterment of our communities. Friends of Children knows that we can't afford to lose these kids-the leaders and dreamers of our future.
Friends of the Children works. It has demonstrated results which clearly show the program keeps kids out of jail, avoiding pregnancy and finishing high school to become productive and self sufficient members of our community. I have yet to see any other program targeting "at-risk" youth with such results.
I have been a volunteer and board member for Friends of the Children Portland for 8 years. This organizations delivers in a very real fashion. Kids in the program avoid the justice system, avoid teen parenting and graduate from high school ready to become productive members of our society. A Harvard lead study indicates a 7X return on every dollar invested in Friends. There is no better investment than our youth. Friends WORKS!
I attend several charity events. This event is the one I most look forward to attending. Over the years, I have met the most wonderful people with the best interest of the children at heart.
we have personally seen the great results produced by FOTC but watching one of the kids from program in his high school environment where I was a teacher. The programs ideas and follow through are excellent.
A good friend and strong supporter of Friends of the Children introduced me to this program five years ago. Since then I have been able to make small contributions to this program and am always absolutely amazed at how many children are helped and steered into being productive contributing members of society. Most if not all of the children in this program have come from backgrounds that predict failure for them. Those children are able to succeed because of the mentoring they receive.
I feel it is one of the best if not the best program to help children out of a dead end area of society into achieving a useful and full filling life.
It is easy for me to see why Friends of the Children has been recognized as a model organization in the field of childhood development.
My own background helps me recognize the challenges that result from a childhood with an unhealthy or unwholesome family environment. My observations have shown to me the importance of positive intervention and continuous support for such a child, starting at an early age.
The success of the Friends of the Children approach is readily seen in the children presently in the program as well as graduates who are grown and are achieving success as adults.
The keys appear to be these:
1st - A comprehensive method of operation, evolving over time, resulting in an outstanding record.
2nd - A staff and mentors (Friends) with a single-minded obsession to make it work.
3rd - The support of the community. Educators, schools and colleges, committee members, donors, volunteers and the business community have all joined in to assist FOTC in the effort.
4th - The love for all children as exemplified by the efforts of the entire organization.
My choice has been to make Friends of the Children the very core of my giving. It makes me proud to do so.
Donald W. Carlson - (retired from business)
(I'm writing as an Advisor to Friends of the Children - Portland. I'm also a Donor, an incoming Board Member, and I'm a professional with expertise in a related field.)
I have watched Friends of the Children through several lenses. FOTC looks great through all of them.
1) I was on a volunteer team from the Community Partners program of the Harvard Business School Association of Oregon. We quantified the "social ROI" [return on investment] that FOTC generates, for society as a whole and for the individuals who go through the program. We estimated that FOTC creates a benefit for society and individuals of seven times its cost. That is awesome.
2) I have gotten to know key executives at FOTC. I've seen first-hand their dedication to the children and to operational excellence and integrity.
3) And I've seen many of the children currently in the program. You would never know they come from such at-risk backgrounds. FOTC's care and guidance has given these kids an awesome opportunity to become happy, prosperous, well-adjusted members of society, and has given our community citizens who will play a positive role in our future.