Improving lives and communities — one child at a time
Friends is a local non-profit mentoring organization that helps children in
the Walla Walla Valley engage in safe, youth-focused
friendships with adults. The organization was formed
in 1999 to help prevent children from facing life's challenges alone,
and remains committed to creating positive change in the lives of
families in the Walla Walla Valley – one child at a time.
Though mentoring relationships that focus on goals such
as academic achievement or self-improvement are helpful, Friends’ 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 a listening, encouraging,
caring presence that the child can count on over time. This respectful
approach opens doors to mutuality in an adult/child relationship that
is, sadly, all too rare for children today.
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
Over 50% indicated an improvement in their child’s academic
performance and ability to avoid delinquency
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 primarly 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 2011 Annual Report.