September 30, 2022
One of the Core Assets at Friends of the Children is Find Your Spark and these ladies have certainly found it! Over the last few months, youth *Paige and *Bridget have expressed interest in gymnastics and spent hours each week practicing on their new found passion. Friends Dani and Colleen saw how important gymnastics was to them so they worked to get them into an after school program each week. Their skills continue to impress us as they become more flexible and learn new tricks!
September 16, 2022
Youth *Taylor was in the mood to try something new on her recent outing with Friend, Dani. She'd always wanted to try sushi so the two took a trip to Oishi Sushi in Redmond. Taylor ordered a variety of rolls and paired them with soy sauce and wasabi. "What's this green stuff?" she asked Dani. Dani warned her how spicy it could be but Taylor was determined to give it a try. In a matter of seconds she was not a fan! "2/10 would not recommend!" Taylor said with a sour face. Dani and Taylor laughed so hard at her reaction.
The two reflected how awesome it was to be exposed to a new culture and the bravery to try something new! Taylor said she doesn't regret it at all and actually wants to try it again, but maybe a little less next time. 😝
September 9, 2022
Summer has come to an end but the fun sure hasn't! Our youth and Friends have been working on growing a garden at the Ranch. Not only does this project bring different mentors and youth together, but our youth witness firsthand where their food comes from and understand the long-term positive health outcomes.
One evening, Friend Corey sent out a text over our teams' group chat asking if anyone wanted to join him and youth *Jordan as they build a new fence to expand our garden area. Friend Flay immediately jumped in with his youth *Nick to help. The four of them dug new holes for the fence posts and removed any unwanted dirt from the area. After lots of hard work and laughs, they hung out on the front porch and enjoyed some delicious watermelon. *Youth name changed to protect family's privacy
September 2, 2022
Friend Aaron took two of his youth, *Jerry and *Ben to Tumalo Falls for an outing. On their hike in, they talked about mindfulness and what it looks like to practice it in their daily lives. Once they reached the falls, each of them took ten minutes of silence and talked about what they were thinking after. *Jerry said, “I’m pretending this is a boat” as he was playing with a stick in the water. “I’m trying to hit that log with a rock" said *Ben. Aaron mentioned how neat it was that sometimes calming their worlds brings about the best practices of imagination. *Youth name changed to protect family's privacy
July 29, 2022
Happy Friend Friday! With August around the corner, we are preparing for the upcoming school year. Youth *Elena and Friend Dani took some time to go visit our local library where they worked on skills to get Elena ready for the new year!
Our Friends work on roadmap goals like "school success" with each of their youth throughout the year. Libraries are the perfect resource to continue summer enrichment and have fun! Not to mention a great way to beat the heat in Central Oregon.
July 22, 2022
We have a new youth to introduce...meet *Lauren! Lauren is a super cool six year old, and is excited about everything!
Lauren loves adventure so yesterday, she and Friend, Brandi, hiked to the top of Pilot Butte. They made art, looked out at the city, and learned what all of the mountains are named. Next week they are looking forward to swimming to beat the heat. Lauren is really excited to make a trip out to The Ranch soon and expressed she would love to make chocolate chip pancakes with Brandi and meet the rest of the Friends of the Children staff.
Welcome Lauren! We can't wait to hear about all your adventures with Brandi in the coming months. *Youth name changed to protect family's privacy
July 1, 2022
We had a great first week of summer camp! This fun-filled 3-day camp focused on all things outdoors. Youth made animal tracks and learned about the different wildlife in the area, used water tables to see how water flows and changes the landscape, built a water filtration system that will actually cleaned water, and through fun hands-on activities explored the forests, plants, and birds. On the last day, youth learned about all things camping! They tied knots, made a fishing pole, set up a tent, shared campfire stories, and topped it off by making smores using solar ovens. We even had a special guest, Chompers the snake, that was welcomed by everyone. We want to extend another big thank you to everyone who supported our Summer Programs Match Campaign. Our youth have many more fun activities to look forward to.
May 27, 2022
This week, we wanted to introduce you to a very special "Friend" at Friends of the Children. Meet Leesi! She is professional mentor, Colleen's pup and LOVES to tag along on outings when she can.
Leesi has been able to teach our youth about patience, pet care, and even bring inspiration about potential careers like being a vet. Youth *Hailey has expressed interest in starting a dog walking business over the summer because Leesi has taught her that dogs need lots of attention and exercise.
We have lots of four legged friends at the office and love giving our youth the opportunity to build positive relationships with animals.
May 20, 2022
Youth *Freddy and *Derek have been inseparable lately! They share the love of adventure and are so imaginative. "I have been trying to harbor this friendship as they have similar personality traits" said Friend, Aaron. On a recent outing, the two boys were whispering and Aaron asked, "What are you dudes chatting about?" They said, “We made a pact that we are buddies for life!” Aaron replied with, “That’s so awesome for you two! What a great friendship to have for each of you!” Derek quickly responded “Two? You’re a part of this too Buddy Aaron.”
Aaron, Derek and Freddy never have a hard time figuring out what to do on their outings. They love exploring their surroundings and bonding over silly stories. Derek and Freddy have become so close that they even planned their first sleepover together. We love watching these friendships blossom!
May 6, 2022
Our youth and Friends are really enjoying this warm weather as it gets us excited about Summer. With Summer comes opportunity for camps, adventures, and activities that allow our youth to try new things, find their spark, and bond with their Friend.
Youth *Anthony has shown an interest in tennis lately. After just a few times on the court, he is a real pro! Friend, Corey, is excited to find him a tennis camp and continue to foster Anthony's favorite new sport.
April 29, 2022
Youth *Amanda and Friend Brandi have built their bond over activities like biking and scootering. On their first outing to the Redmond Pump Track, Amanda was a little nervous about navigating the winding course, but with Brandi's encouragement, she went for it!
Recently, Amanda learned how to switch gears on her mountain bike, making it easier for her to climb the hills around the track. "She's always demonstrating the ability to make good and safe choices," said Friend, Brandi. Amanda is continuing to improve her skills every time the two of them visit the pump track or biking trail and share plenty of giggles along the way! Check out our Instagram page for a funny video of Amanda in action!
April 15, 2022
This week we got a chance to hang out with youth *Nicolas and his Friend, Flay. On each outing, the two prioritize working on Nicolas' homework and talk about how the school day went. Once completed, Nicolas and Flay head to The Ranch.
The two were so excited to be able to spend time with other staff that were at the Ranch that day. Program Director, Carolyn, set up some gardening activity stations in preparation for our big garden day coming up. Nicolas was very gentle and concentrated as he planted each starter. "From a school setting to the Ranch, we're really able to cultivate a sense of belonging through more than just Mentors/Friends" said Flay.
They also got to partake in Easter activities. From dying eggs to walking in the woods for an Easter egg hunt, the group shared lots of laughs and memories. *Youth name changed to protect family's privacy
April 8, 2022
We are so excited that warmer weather is here! Friend Corey gathered three of his youth for a fun group outing this past week. After an afternoon at the park with games and laughs galore, the boys were ready for a meal.
Figuring out what to eat was easy considering it was the perfect weather for a BBQ. Everyone helped Corey cook up some delicious burgers and the group enjoyed a relaxing evening soaking up the sun.
Group outings create an opportunity for youth to work on Core Assets like Positive Relationship Building and Belonging. It has been a tremendous joy watching relationships blossom between the youth in our program and we are excited for future opportunities to gather together.
April 1, 2022
Youth *Fiona is a huge animal lover. Since introducing Friona to Three Rivers Humane Society, she and her mentor, Colleen, have visited on successive outings. This past week, Fiona gathered dog coats, sweaters and accessories from her grandma with her two favorite pooches in mind. She brought a whole bag full, with a personalized note for the pups. She has built relationships with animals and staff alike, and wants the Humane Society to be her first job!
*Youth name changed to protect family's privacy
March 30, 2022
Artist Lisa Marie Sipe Supports Friends of the Children Central Oregon
Lisa Marie Sipe, a talented artist and advocate of Friends of the Children Central Oregon, is graciously donating 25% of sales in her latest art installation. Lisa draws inspiration from nature and describes her art as "delicate yet resilient". We are in awe of her work and are so grateful for her dedication in spreading the word of Friends-Central Oregon through her passions. You can view and purchase items in her collection at the link below. Thank you, Lisa!
March 16, 2022
Volunteer with Friends of the Children Central Oregon on May 7th
Come volunteer with us on May 7th from 10am to 2pm (lunch provided) and help make our forever home, The Ranch, a usable space for program youth. We need assistance with projects such as organizing, lifting/moving, clean up and handywork. Please email Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in volunteering.