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The traditional "charity model" is based upon the belief that fulfilling immediate needs will eliminate poverty. That society can solve homelessness by providing housing. That we can end generations of hunger by serving food. That we can end unemployment by distributing interview clothes and resume help. That we can make up for lack of education by offering classes. While all of these forms of help are necessary and commendable, they do not comprise, in themselves, a complete or long-lasting solution. 

the traditional "charity model"

Long term or generational poverty is based upon experiences, beliefs, culture, attitudes and habits as well as lack of societal support and opportunities. 

  • Parents who were not exposed to reading, writing and studying as children cannot be expected to model learning for their children or to know how to support their children’s schoolwork

  • Parents who have learned survival skills born of the desperation of living from crisis to crisis will teach these survival skills to their children, with little time or energy to think about giving back to society.

  • People who see the world as stacked against them and who have little positive experience of best efforts paying off are unlikely to be motivated to develop new skills or to try something difficult. 

  • People who think of themselves as helpless, lacking control over their lives, will do whatever works to meet their basic needs, even at the price of destroying self-respect or self-reliance.

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Helping children, parents and families to reframe their views of themselves and of their relationships with their communities requires more than a class. It requires new experiences over an extended period of time. It requires opportunities within a supportive community to practice, to develop new skills and attitudes, to discover inner strengths and self-worth and to know the satisfaction that comes from contributing to their community.

At Sunday Friends, families find the supportive community and the means to break their cycle of helplessness and poverty. An integrated economic environment is filled with opportunities - not just to receive but also to give. Families work together to earn basic necessities. There are no handouts at Sunday Friends. While children build the developmental assets required for success, adults learn life skills and whole families transition together towards self-sufficiency.

Sunday Friends’ Unique Model

Sunday Friends Succeeds Because

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We begin by respecting the children and parents who choose to join us, honoring their good intentions and their obvious as well as hidden talents.

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Our programs involve children and parents together, which gives whole families the chance to practice skills and grow together.  Family members support each other in applying new attitudes and work styles to their lives.

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Children and parents experience the satisfaction that comes from meeting their needs through successful work efforts and through the contributions they make to their community.  Families realize that they can take control of their lives and that success is possible.

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Parents discover how to support their children in becoming successful learners at home and at school.  As a family, they learn to redefine themselves as "learners", “supporters” and "successes".

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