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.
Professional with expertise in this field
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.