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Friends of the Children

Friends of the Children — Klamath Basin Executive Director Amanda Squibb speaks during a past Friend Raiser.

Friends of the Children — Klamath Basin is celebrating 20 years of service to local youth this year; it also marks the first time the nonprofit organization’s annual fundraiser — or Friend Raiser — will be virtual.

Friends is committed to breaking the cycle of generational poverty through salaried, professional mentoring. Friends of the Children — Klamath Basin Executive Director Amanda Squibb explained that the organization selects the highest priority youth to be mentored; each youth is then matched with a Friend who will be with them from kindergarten through high school graduation.

Friends spend a minimum of 16 hours per month with each child with whom they’re matched. They develop a roadmap for each child and design activities for them to build life skills. By spending time in each child’s home, school, and community, Friends provide continuity and become advocates for each child. Each Friend serves eight youth, Squibb said. Friends of the Children — Klamath Basin currently employs six mentors who serve a total of 45 youth.

As Friends are salaried employees rather than volunteers, Squibb explained, “a lot of our expenses are payroll.” The Friends of the Children — Klamath Basin website explains, “Moving mentorship out of the volunteer realm is a key component to getting the quality, consistency and commitment that our children need. Many of our Friends have been with us for 20 years; the average tenure is over 5 years.”

The organization’s annual Friend Raiser typically brings in a quarter of Friends of the Children — Klamath Basin’s annual revenue, Squibb noted. She hopes that it will be possible through the virtual fundraiser to bring in a large portion of what the organization normally would during its in-person event.

The Friend Raiser virtual event will begin tomorrow, May 22, with silent auction bidding. The main event will then take place Thursday, May 28, when online bidding for live auction packages begins at noon. The pre-show will begin at 6:30 p.m., with the live show at 7 p.m.

RSVP to receive the live event YouTube streaming link at mailchi.mp/friendsklamath.org/friendraiser. To register to bid, visit friendskb2020.ggo.bid.