February 11, 2022

Friends of the Children – Central Oregon Receives $440,000 Grant Award from Wood Next Fund & the Central Oregon Health Council

Friends of the Children – Central Oregon (FOTCCO) announced today it has received a $220,000 grant award from the Wood Next Fund, to support its mission to break generational cycles of poverty through its long-term, professional mentoring program.

“This gift from Wood Next Fund will be transformational for our program, and the youth and families we serve,” said Executive Director Rachel Cardwell. “It will allow us to expand, not just in the number of youth we select into our program, but also our ability to effectively serve kids outside of Bend and throughout Central Oregon.”

FOTCCO has an expansion plan in progress to serve rural communities in Jefferson and Crook Counties. The gift will support an additional 15 youth, bringing total enrollment to 61, with the addition of two Professional Mentors, called Friends, one of whom will be dedicated to areas outside Bend. These funds will also support a new position for the organization, a Family & Education Specialist, focused on providing individualized educational supports around literacy and math concepts to ensure their youth are hitting grade-level benchmarks in core areas. The position will also build additional opportunities for family engagement into program design and decision-making.

“Wood Next Fund is impressed by Friends of the Children’s proven long-term mentoring model to turn around outcomes for the most vulnerable children, “ said Nancy Chan, director of Wood Next Fund. “We are excited to support this important work in Central Oregon and help the chapter build its capacity to serve more children.”

Understanding the enormous impact these dollars would have on youth across the region, the Central Oregon Health Council stepped up and matched the awarded funds, dollar for dollar.

“It is with great gratitude and partnership that we present FOTCCO with these matching grant funds. The Central Oregon Health Council has created this Impact Fund program to assist and further the reach and success of our partners and their community investments. Our Regional Health Improvement Plan (RHIP) reflects the efforts of the region we serve in aligning with those measures that create a healthier Central Oregon. Thank you to FOTCC for their commitment to the kiddos in their program “12 years no matter what.”

Read the press release to learn more.