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.
That's what Sunday Friends, a non-religious, nonprofit organization, does through its programs for very low-income families.
Since 1997, Sunday Friends has been offering day-long programs on Sundays that bring together whole families to work together, learn together, earn together, make spending decisions together and share in the healthy, warm, productive, mutually-supportive community together.
Family members engage in hands-on learning activities, create gifts for children in hospitals and for nursing home residents, and prepare and serve healthy meals. They attend classes on financial literacy, parenting effectiveness, English literacy, health, nutrition, violence prevention, computer skills, and STEM education. Through their participation, family members earn “tickets”, the currency of Sunday Friends, redeemable for essential goods from the Treasure Chest.
The university-led professional evaluation confirms the changes that families are making and that the lives of children and parents are improving. The full evaluation report is available here.
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.