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2021 No Matter What!

Venue: N/A
San Francisco, CA
Dates: Apr 27th, 2021 – Jun 30th, 2021
After successfully pivoting over the past year from in-person to virtual mentoring and expanding its focus to address the COVID-related needs of their children’s entire families, Friends of the Children – SF Bay Area is launching its 2021 No Matter What! fundraising campaign to continue and expand its work in and around the Bayview Hunters Point community. The campaign will launch on Tuesday, April 27 and run through June 30, 2021, with a goal of raising $1.5 million.

Friends of the Children – SF Bay Area (Friends-SF) is an independent chapter of a national network that, for the past 25 years, has pioneered an innovative mentoring model that empowers children to break the generational cycle of poverty. Friends of the Children serves the children who face the biggest barriers, pairing each child with a salaried, Professional Mentor who works full time with eight children, starting with each child in kindergarten and walking beside them all the way through high school graduation – 12+ years, no matter what! This long-term, professional approach provides the consistent, stable presence that children need.

“Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we’ve been able to meet the extra challenges posed by the COVID crisis and we are positioned to continue this work going forward,” said San Francisco Co-Founder and Executive Director Michael Rugen. “We’re expanding the scope of our services to address the most pressing needs of children and their entire families, and we’re pushing ahead to enroll the next class of kindergarteners and hire new mentors. We are committed to helping our families recover from the economic, academic and emotional after-effects of the virus.”

Like many businesses and organizations during the COVID-19 crisis, Friends - SF had to adapt quickly. No longer able to meet in person with children, Friends - SF developed new and innovative ways to mentor online, including partnering with schools to make sure that mentors could attend online classes with their mentees.

As the crisis reverberated through their children’s families with higher rates of illness, job loss and emotional stress, Friends - SF has expanded its original focus of serving individual children to address the most pressing needs of their entire families. This includes grocery and meal delivery, filling technology gaps, providing school supplies and connecting caregivers with other agencies that can help support them. It’s clear that, although the virus is subsiding, the long-term effects will linger for these families. Going forward, Friends of the Children will make this expanded scope of services a permanent part of their program.

Friends – SF seeks to raise $1.5 million in the 2021 No Matter What! campaign, to ensure that their Professional Mentors will remain a reliable and stable presence in the lives of their children and to provide the financial foundation needed to meet their goal of serving 500 children and families. A generous group of donors is offering a $750,000 challenge grant, which means that every additional $1 donated to the campaign will produce $2 to support the children and families served by Friends-SF.

Click here for more information on Friends of the Children – SF Bay Area or to donate to the 2021 No Matter What campaign.

About Friends of the Children
Friends of the Children – SF Bay Area opened its doors in Bayview Hunters Point in 2017 and will soon be serving 120 children who live in and around that community. Friends of the Children serves children whose families face daunting challenges like multi-generational poverty, domestic violence, substance abuse, incarceration and homelessness. By hiring full-time Professional Mentors to walk beside each child for 12+ years, Friends of the Children helps children break these cycles and find the pathway toward success. The results speak for themselves:

83% of our youth graduate high school
93% avoid the juvenile justice system
98% wait to begin parenting until after their teen years
92% move on to college, full-time employment or enlistment in the military

A study by the Harvard Business School Alumni Association concluded that every $1 invested in Friends of the Children yields $7 of benefit to society.

For more information, visit Friends of the Children – SF Bay Area.