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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Sunday Friends Foundation

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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Family Services, Gift Distribution, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Human Services

Mission: 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

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.

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

If I could, I'd volunteer every day. Sunday Friends brought fulfillment and purpose to my life. Having lived in poverty, it gives me relief to watch children earn brighter futures through involvement. Parents often remark that they are more interested in and involved with their children since joining Sunday Friends. When volunteering, one is truly making a tangible difference in someone's life that positively impacts everyone's future.

Donor

Rating: 4

I donate to Sunday Friends because their families tell me about how their lives are better. They write these nice letters to donors with their stories. Touches my heart to see how they can get diapers for their babies or the kids can get backpacks for school. And they get them with their tickets, not a handout. Awesome!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Sunday Friends is the working alternative to charity. Studies by local universities prove the model is effectively instilling the developmental assets children need to be successful in life. Family members earn the things they need, like diapers, detergent and school supplies, through participating in classes and activities. The families, volunteers, and staff build a supportive community where learning changes lives.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with Sunday Friends in 2004. It has grown beautifully over the years. With the help of a dedicated team of staff and volunteers, this organization is uniquely designed to bring together parents and their children in an environment that allows families to develop together. Parents are educated on topics such as health, English literacy, and parenting skills. Children are mentored by volunteers who instill in them positive values and behaviors. Volunteers (both children and adults) can embrace of sense of giving, mentorship, leadership and compassion.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sunday friends is a refreshingly unique and modern outlook on giving back. The only drawback to the program is that they don't have their own community center! (Which they deserve) The program has so many different activities and motions that help the families they serve. I am grateful to volunteer for a program like theirs.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Sunday Friends for over a year. We spend Sunday afternoons cooking, making crafts or doing educational activities. The client families earn tickets by spending the time doing the various activities. They can then redeem the tickets for toys, toiletries or other items. When I have participated it has been a very fun and satisfying experience. We are all working together on interesting tasks and it is productive. We make lots of delicious food, and make crafts that will be used to decorate libraries and other public spaces. The kids in client families usually work with the volunteers on my activities, and they are proud to show their creativity and earn tickets. I highly recommend to participate in this organization.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm always awed by the programs offered to Sunday Friends families. There are opportunities to improve English, learn about health & nutrition, vision screenings, and bicycle safety clinics just to name a few. Sunday Friends gives parents the tools to improve their lives and those of their children.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sunday Friends is an amazing organization which helps many families come out of poverty. Children are taught the importance of hard work and the benefits reacted from it. As a volunteer, I watched firsthand the positive impact this organization brings. I hope it is available for many generations to come.

3

Advisor

Rating: 5

Sunday Friends brings families together to work, play, learn and educate in a family friendly environment. Social skills are a huge part of the program. Sunday Friends also allows out organizations and skilled individuals on site to teach and/or provide vital information with regards to financial information useful in their daily lives. I have been a volunteer with this program for approximately 10 years. I am both excited and proud to be a part of such a great program.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We at EqOpTech are a team of high school students that partners and volunteers at Sunday Friends to (a) recycle, refurbish and redeploy laptops for the laptop home usage program (b) roll out and implement pilot STEM education workshops such as Khan Academy or Scratch. Under the Sunday Friends' STEM program, students from low-income families will now have easy access to computers to review online educational content, such as Khan Academy to learn important STEM and computer skills to excel at school.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

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