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Stories with Friends: Part 12

The Little Black Dress Party & Children’s Art Exhibit

Last week we held an event in downtown Bend celebrating our children and the art they have created over the past year.

As Friend/mentor Joe reflected on the evening, he was most excited to talk about some local teachers who joined us for the event. It deeply touched Joe that those who play such an important part in our youth’s community believe in the work we are doing enough to come out and support Friends.

One teacher in particular used to teach Seamus, one of Joe's youth, and asked Joe how he’s doing at his new school. Joe spoke about how Seamus has grown as much as any of his children in areas such as connection, behavior, and school work.

Joe was touched by how overjoyed Seamus’ teacher was to hear of his growth. Even as they didn’t have an easy year together, it didn’t stop the teacher’s excitement for Seamus.

We love the passion the Central Oregon community of teachers has shown for Friends and our youth. Working side by side with us to change the story for children at the highest risk. We’re deeply grateful for all who came out to our fundraiser, and for the teachers whose influence has a long-term impact in our children’s lives

Grace and Amber

Two of our children, Grace and Amber, are very different, but they get along great. On a recent group outing with Friend/mentor Sarah, the three were headed to Grace’s house when Amber said, “Do you have a phone number?!”

The two exchanged phone numbers and when Amber arrived at home she went straight for the landline--before she even had time to say goodbye to Sarah!

Sarah talked about how sweet it was to see Amber so excited to call her friend, saying, “It’s amazing to see how much these kids love to connect with each other.” Sarah laughed and cried as she recalled this story and the relationship she has seen develop.

Helping youth build relationships with their peers, teachers, and family members is a key part of the Friends of the Children model. A focus on relationship building leads to trust and better attachment which also inspires a growth mindset and resilience towards adverse situations.

We are so excited for Amber and Grace for the friendship they are building, and proud to be able to play a part in the development of safe, kind relationships.