"Sunday Friends is the greatest place to do community service. The children become your friends and you end up not wanting to leave but to stay with them." — Teen Volunteer
Very low-income families participate in activities at our programs that give them opportunities to contribute, learn, and earn tickets to buy basic necessities. The space for our program is divided into stations. Each station offers an opportunity for children and parents to contribute to the community and learn in the process. The learning opportunities provided at a typical program are: art projects, cooking projects, playing Academic or Educational games, writing letters to thank donors, tutoring, piano/music lessons, computer programming, health consultation, or something different. Children, and sometimes parents, move freely among the stations while earning tickets. One volunteer is designated and trained to be a Paymaster, and is responsible for “paying” each child or parent the correct amount of tickets after they are finished at each station. Then, the families can invest their tickets in the bank and save enough tickets to buy their basic and other necessities.
Your job is to assist children in contributing to the project, even if it means that the progress is slowed or the quality is lessened. You are there to help the children be successful. You are also there to share fun and laughter.
When a child comes to your station, be sure to engage him/her in the activity right away. Hand the child a paintbrush or potato peeler or other tool used for that project. Give him/her a choice: “What color do you want to start with?”. Help them expand their thoughts, ideas, knowledge, and creativity.
At all times, please remember that the quality of your interactions and the behaviors and attitudes you model are more important than anything we might produce. While we love to create delicious food and dazzling art, we are there primarily to teach.