We focus on youth/families that are facing the most significant challenges in Lane County. Currently, we partner with Cesar Chavez Elementary (4J), EC CARES Early Learning classrooms, and the Oregon Department of Human Services to identify families facing hardships. We also accept referrals from outside of our formal selection partners when open spots are available. To be eligible for our services youth must be between the ages of 4-6 years old, able to safely participate in outings in the community and likely to stay in Lane County to enable them to benefit from our long-term program.
We do not have an annual enrollment, but instead, expand our program to serve additional youth/families whenever our funding allows us to do so. However, we are always accepting referrals. We encourage you to send in your referrals regardless of the time of year as we have spots open periodically throughout the year.
Yes. We have a few main avenues for volunteers. Year-long tutoring for youth of all ages is always needed. For our elementary-aged students, we look for tutors who can support reading and reading comprehension. We always need help with our community Friendraising events. Volunteer opportunities for these events include food preparation, marketing assistance and outreach to potential food donors. We also need volunteers willing and have the capacity to host different drives such as food, warm clothes, back to school supplies, prizes and giveaways for family engagement events. Finally, we are looking for companies or individuals looking to host or sponsor group activities, and events youth and mentors can participate in and enjoy. Check out more Ways to Give.
During the pandemic, we have continued to assess how we can help youth and families meet their needs while keeping our families and staff as safe as possible. This means the professional mentors are often contacting their youth and families by phone, emails, zoom calls and snail-mail. Friends have dropped off school support packs for youth with work for them to complete. Mentors have also dropped off care packages with their youth’s favorite snacks and activities. They have also encouraged positive relationship building by teaming up and bring a group of youth together for collective Zoom meetings. We will also begin partnering with organizations, like Food For Lane County, to help ensure we are meeting some more basic needs as the economic impacts of the Coronavirus continue to disproportionately impact our community.