Friends is a local non-profit mentoring organization that helps children in the Walla Walla Valley engage in safe, youth-focused friendships with adults. Formed in 1999 to help prevent children from facing life’s challenges alone, Friends remains committed to creating positive change in the lives of families– one child at a time.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs):
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) has been declared the number one childhood trauma in the United States. The number one antidote to this is providing a child a caring adult relationship once a week for at least one year. Friends provides this by way of our ABC School Lunch Program and our Community Based Program.
Our adult volunteers concentrate on the child, letting the friendship find its own impact and letting the child lead the way. Adult friends do not act as parents, teachers, disciplinarians, coaches, therapists or saviors. Instead, they act as friends, providing an encouraging, caring presence that the child can count on over time.
Friends now has programs or pilots in ten schools in the Walla Walla and College Place School Districts.
Impact of Your Support:
Over the life of the Friends organization, we have seen countless examples of the power of the friendships we’ve generated through our programs. Parent survey results have indicated significant behavioral improvements in their children, since being matched with an adult Friend. In 2010:
Over 30% of parents reported an increase in their child’s self-confidence and ability to make decisions
Over 50% indicated an improvement in their child’s academic performance and ability to avoid delinquency
National research has also shown that mentoring relationships have a clear positive impact on the life of the matched child. Here are some of the typical outcomes:
- More likely to trust their parents and communicate more effectively with them
- More likely to have fewer school absences
- More likely to attend college and to look forward to the future
- Less likely to be physically aggressive with peers
- Less likely to initiate drug & alcohol use
As a non-profit organization, Friends if funded primarily through the generosity of businesses, clubs, organizations, foundations, trusts and individuals. To see a list of our funders from last year and read more about our programs and accomplishments, check out our 2016 Annual Report.