Faithful Friends is a community-based mentoring program that provides children support and stability through relationships that encourage personal growth and inspire hope.
The program matches volunteer individuals, couples and families with children ages 6 through 9 for mentoring relationships. The mentor/mentee matches meet 3-4 times each month for at least one year. Activities between the mentor and mentee are a collaborative decision – the child is included in the mentor’s everyday activities. This may mean cooking a meal together or going to the park.
It may also include helping the child with academic, artistic, social and other life skills.
Children are referred to Faithful Friends by a parent or caregiver who believes the child’s life will be enriched by additional caring relationships. Parents hear about Faithful Friends from schools or other agencies that serve children.
In 1991, Duncan Campbell set out to determine the best way to transform the most vulnerable children’s lives. He was determined to find a way to help children that were grounded in solid research, was focused on quantifiable results and considered the return on investment. A two-year research project identified that the best way to create real change is to start working with children early and provide each of them with a long-term, consistent relationships with caring adults.
Based on these findings, Duncan founded Friends of the Children in 1993. Over the last 20 years, Friends of the Children – Portland has grown has served more than 425 children.
Duncan wasn’t finished! For over 30 years, he has hoped to see the Christian faith community serve vulnerable children through mentoring. In January 2013, Duncan Campbell was introduced to Josh White, the lead pastor of Door of Hope Church in Portland. Duncan shared his vision for the church to be an active participant in serving the needs of vulnerable children in the city. Together with Josh, they formed a vision to birth a faith-based mentoring program out of Door of Hope. This program would become Faithful Friends Mentoring Program.
Faithful Friends began in March 2013 and now has ten different church partnerships and over 43 active mentor/mentee matches.