During the 2020 Holiday giving campaign with Daymaker, donors gave generously to children supported by local nonprofits across the country.
The Daymaker team has met with our partners this spring, collecting input and feedback on how we can improve in the future. Below we are thrilled to share an update from Friends of the Children, San Francisco, highlighting how the year has progressed for the families they serve and how the Daymaker campaign has impacted their service delivery:
At the onset of the pandemic, Cedric, a mentor working at Friends of the Children San Francisco (SF), struggled to maintain contact with one of his mentees as contact was previously facilitated through partnering schools. Because the oldest students are only in fourth grade, they do not have cell phones. Communication is reliant on their guardians who may be working multiple jobs and caring for multiple children. After some persistence, Cedric was invited to the home of his mentee. During his visit, he learned that his mentee was one of multiple children in a single-mother household in which there was not enough food for everyone.
Friends of the Children SF is situated in San Francisco’s Bayview and Hunters Point neighborhoods where, as of 2020, more than 30 percent of neighborhood households make $30,000 or less per year, and gentrification is rapidly displacing the area's Black residents.
Cedric resolved to make food available to his mentee's family, kickstarting Friends of the Children's food distribution program. Mentors have since worked to establish relationships with students' guardians, caretakers, and siblings when they deliver groceries to students' homes.
This is only one example of the pivot towards community-based outreach the organization has made in order to adapt to constantly shifting needs of their students and families amidst the ongoing pandemic. Grounding themselves in students' communities, Friends of the Children SF is stronger because of this pivot and intends to sustain this expanded programming. Currently, Friends of the Children SF serves 100 students and their families, and they've launched major fundraising efforts with the goal of expanding their program to invite another 35 students.
All the mentors that comprise Friends of the Children SF chapter are people of color. The chapter has prioritized an overlooked factor of child wellbeing by ensuring children can see themselves in the mentors who have authentic connections to the communities in which their mentees are living and learning. These connections shape collective socio-emotional experiences that are rooted in shared identities — as many families navigate traumatic situations, the mentors are being impacted as well.
All the mentors that comprise Friends of the Children SF chapter are people of color. The chapter has prioritized an overlooked factor of child wellbeing by ensuring children can see themselves in the mentors who have authentic connections to the communities in which their mentees are living and learning.
While recollecting the excitement of their partnership with Daymaker and donors, Susan Corlett, Director of Development and Communications, exclaimed, "This feeling, with your over-the-top generosity, that you’re at our back. With COVID… to have wishlists, educational materials, and resources to do virtually with our kids. What a good time to provide some wind in our sails!"
Donor support of their mission and families enabled Friends of the Children SF to focus their resources on working directly with families. During a tumultuous holiday season for many, Daymaker was able to ensure that every child at Friends of the Children SF received a bundle of gifts - all siblings of kids in the program received a gift as well! The items arrived specially wrapped and featured the variety of play-based educational materials as well as interest-specific toys and books you purchased from their holiday wishlists.
All people, especially children, need play for intellectual and socio-emotional growth, as well as identity development and cultural awareness. Together, you, Daymaker donors, and the Daymaker team were able to address this critical need that is often de-prioritized or overlooked due to the urgency of physiological needs such as food and shelter. We are grateful to be in the position to "provide some wind" to our nonprofit partners, and we are grateful for your contributions and collaboration in this work!
Friends of the Children provides long-term mentorship opportunities for children from kindergarten through high school. Their mission is to impact generational change by empowering youth who are facing the greatest obstacles through relationships with professional mentors – 12+ years, no matter what. We encourage you to learn more information about Friends of the Children SF and the communities they serve by visiting their website.