Celebrating Four Decades of Community Service, 1975-2015 (Jan 2015)

Forty Years of Friends Finding Friends, 1975-2015

On January 20, 1975 Concord was introduced to an innovative new program to keep at-risk kids out of trouble - and get them into supportive one-to-one mentoring relationships.

The Friends Program started as a grassroots community effort that encourages adolescents to build upon their strengths and overcome adversity. This remains true, but the Friends Program has evolved considerably. Today, Friends mentors support kids as young as six with a wide range of needs. Additionally, since 1980, the Friends has operated the Emergency Housing Program that serves homeless families. Subsequently, the agency has taken on Foster Grandparents and RSVP -  two senior programs that help older citizens remain active and contribute to the community.

 Although the scope of our mission has broadened drastically, our core purpose and values remain unchanged. For 40 years, Friends volunteers strengthen our community by building relationships that empower people, celebrate service and restore faith in the human spirit.
Below are just a few images from our fist years as an agency. We'll be adding more pictures in the coming weeks - so stop back in soon!
Our 40th birthday gives us a chance to reflect upon four decades of community service. Friends Youth Mentoring has given kids opportunities to benefit from one-to-one mentoring relationships and group activities where they build social skills and positive values.



From the beginning, Friends mentors have been real-life champions to local youngsters who needed "an alternative to artificial television heroes." Engaging youngsters in meaningful activities remains at the core of Friends Youth Mentoring to this day.


After a year of planning, founder Richard Maxson (right) introduced the Friends Program to the community on January 20, 1975. (Note that the poster above Maxson's head is featured at left here).


Concord students were part of Friends' outreach and planning efforts in the year before our launch. Students designed promotional posters like this one by Vicki Bonner. 



Another longstanding hallmark of the Friends Program has been the great effort taken to ensure match compatibility so mentors and their Junior Friends can take part in activities they both enjoy.


Planting a garden is just one of the activities that have cultivated and nurtured the many mentor-Junior Friend relationships the Friends Program has built over the past 40 years.