2020 has been challenging for all of us, especially for the children in our program. But, thanks to the generosity of supporters like you and the hard work of our staff, we’re finding innovative ways to continue supporting our children and their families during this difficult time, honoring our long-term commitment — 12+ years, no matter what!
The COVID pandemic hit the Bayview Hunters Point community hard, with a cumulative infection rate 7 to 10 times higher than more affluent parts of the City. And the COVID recession has further widened the economic gulf between our families and the rest of San Francisco. Our Program Staff has been working diligently to find new and innovative ways to meet the most urgent needs of our children and their families.
Our Mentors are using a multitude of virtual tools to communicate with their children while they cannot meet in person. Recently each Mentor created one or more YouTube videos, in which they explained to our children how to do a fun activity, such as art projects, music, basketball, etc. (See link below.) And, after overcoming red tape and technological barriers, they recently gained daily access to their children’s virtual classrooms, so they can once again monitor their children’s academic progress and use the Zoom breakout rooms to resume regular, one-on-one meetings with each child.
We’re addressing the primary concern expressed by our families – food insecurity – in several ways. For example, we’re partnering with Noe Valley Farmers’ Market to provide weekly deliveries of the highest quality produce to our families.
We’re partnering with Black to the Future, a city-supported coalition that provides African American families access to the opportunities they are so often denied and addresses their most urgent needs during the COVID crisis.
We’ve also made a long-term commitment to ensure that Black Lives Matter is a movement not just a moment, and we are in the process of educating ourselves about the pervasive effects of systemic racism, examining its effects on all aspects of our organization, and determining how best to become a truly anti-racist organization.
Kudos to our Program Staff for demonstrating many of the Core Assets we teach our children – Growth Mindset, Hope, Problem Solving, Perseverance & Grit, Positive Relationship Building. And my sincerest gratitude to all of you whose donations have empowered us to continue providing the love and support our children need now more than ever.
SF Co-Founder & Executive Director
Friends of the Children - SF Bay Area
Jorge Sanchez is a mentee here at Friends-SF who thrives in social situations and has a strong bond with his Mentor Cedric. Prior to Covid, Jorge’s family and teacher told Cedric that he was becoming more confident and could concentrate for longer and longer periods of time.