FRIENDS Association for Children has served children and families in Richmond since 1871. Originally established as a shelter for displaced children after the Civil War, we evolved into an adoption & foster care agency before transitioning to our current focus – child development and youth services. Over our near 150-year history, FRIENDS has seen the needs of the community change significantly, and our programs have also evolved to address those needs. The primary purpose and mission – to improve the lives of the children and families while helping them achieve their potential and become productive citizens – has remained our primary focus.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has taken hold of our community, our state, and our nation, FRIENDS has once again adapted to meet the needs of our families and our community.
How we’re responding
While FRIENDS has remained open to support our children and families, we are also caring for the children of critical First Responders and Frontline Essential Workers.
We are following the CDC and VDH guidelines, and by order of the Governor, we have limited our classrooms to 10 people (8 students & 2 teachers). We have instituted rigorous cleaning & sanitization procedures, and have dramatically adjusted our policies and procedures to limit unnecessary contact. Unfortunately, these mandates have reduced our enrollment from over 200 to 66 total students.
We remain optimistic that we’ll be able to return to more comprehensive programming over the summer. Until that time, we’re staying positive, health-conscious, and engaged with our children and their families.
How you can help
As a non-profit provider primarily serving low-income families, our finances rely on a balance of tuition fees and gifts from individuals, companies, and foundations. The current health crisis & emergency capacity restrictions have dramatically slashed our current income – and that loss of revenue threatens our programs, and our agency. You can support FRIENDS by:
- Donating to FRIENDS – A financial contribution can help FRIENDS deliver the critical childcare services that our children & families need, especially during this COVID-19 crisis. Almost all gifts to FRIENDS are tax-deductible, and some may also qualify for Virginia Tax Credits. With a PayPal account, you can even make recurring monthly gift to help sustain the organization as we recover and return to normal operations.
- Shopping for FRIENDS – With rigorous cleaning & continued operations, FRIENDS needs some essential supplies to keep our centers clean sanitized & disinfected/, and our students, teachers, and staff healthy. We have a wish list on FRIENDS Amazon site, and if you use Amazon Smile, you can even designate FRIENDS Association for Children to receive a donation! We’re also eligible for the “Community Rewards Program” for you Kroger shoppers.