Here at Friends of the Children-Boston , our mission demands that we walk alongside our Achievers and their families, from Kindergarten through High School graduation, no matter what happens in their lives. The new "normal" means that we have had to creatively define what it means to be a “No Matter What” organization in the face of a pandemic. We believe that even while practicing necessary social distancing, our long-standing mentor relationships, and connections with our Achieves and their families cannot be cancelled. 

In the last week, our incredible team of Professional Mentors ( Friends ) and staff members have been working around the clock to ensure that our consistent presence in our Achievers’ lives won’t be disrupted.
We completed a comprehensive needs assessment with our youth and their families via phone and these are some of the things we learned:

  • More than 60% of our youth live in a household where at least one member is considered most vulnerable for COVID-19
  •  More than 60% of our families are concerned about having enough food and cleaning supplies at home
  • More than 50% expect to have a loss of income and financial resources to be able to make ends meet

Overwhelmingly, caretakers and Achievers indicated that consistent presence of our Professional Mentors is necessary and critical at this time.

With that guiding principle, we are continuing to fulfill our No Matter What commitment to our youth and their families. 

As we speak, Friends are:

  • Working with caretakers who have critical medical needs to find safe transportation to and from medical appointments
  • Meeting up with Achievers via video chat to help with at-home school projects, provide emotional support, and just simply be there for them
  • Supporting caretakers in putting daily routines in place for their children
  • For our seniors preparing for graduation and college, they are connecting through mobile messaging apps to layout plans for college decision deadlines and finishing out the current school year
  • Helping to identify free breakfast and lunch locations in Achiever neighborhoods and creating a plan to safely access the services
  • Researching age appropriate books that the Achievers and Friends can read together while school is closed

And the list goes on…
We know that things will continue to evolve and we must all do our part to protect each other. While there are still things that we cannot predict, I know for sure that our commitment to be there will be the same.  We want to take a moment to thank you . It is in moments like this that our model truly stands out and our commitment to “being there no matter what” can mean stability in the midst of a lot of uncertainty.  Your support made it possible for us to do this. So we thank you. 

Be safe and be there for each other,
 Yi-Chin Chen
Executive Director, Friends of the Children-Boston