That's what Sunday Friends, a non-religious, nonprofit organization, does through its programs for very low-income families.
Sunday Friends has created a unique learning environment that offers families a working alternative to charity. Children and their parents earn the things they need through a variety of collaborative, carefully crafted activities, such as making gifts for children in hospitals, preparing healthy meals during the program, writing letters to the Sunday Friends community and participating in integrated, hands-on life skills training classes such as money management, English proficiency and parenting effectiveness.
Parents and children make meaningful contributions to the community through writing, cooking, art, cleaning and more.
Family members participate in classes and hands-on learning activities, focused on academics and practical life skills.
All participants earn tickets for their contributions and their participation. They save those tickets in interest-bearing bank accounts and spend them in our Treasure Chest stores.
As a result, everything changes, from self-concepts to skill sets to economic stability to families’ relationships with their communities. And, futures change for good.
As program participants experience repeated positive outcomes for their efforts, they grow to understand that they have the power to take control of their lives and to make a difference in the lives of others. This realization has instilled the needed confidence in many Sunday Friends participants to make successful, life-changing decisions.