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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

My family first discovered Sunday Friends a few years ago when my 10 year old son had to do community service for school. We attended as a family and didn’t know what to expect. Everyone was very friendly, ambitious, motivated, and kind. Recently, SAP volunteers helped by creating tickets for the Sunday Friends "store" and decorating envelopes for the tickets using water color paints.

From Left: Soon Leong, Alisha Seegmiller, Angelina Garcia, Kellie Drenner, Sophia Marx, Helena Jerney, Sanjay Chauhan, Helene Kippen, Stephanie Morgan, Bill Rojas, Erika Jackson, Janie Du, Karen Kennedy

Our wonderfully creative and childish artwork. Sunday Friends participants earn tickets to spend in the "store" by taking classes

It’s A Family Event

Our first project was to organize about 30 kids to create the daily snack for everyone at the gathering. At first, I was overwhelmed, but the kids were so eager to help, and the girls were mesmerized by my boy! When we finished, they happily loaded up the trays and served everyone, young and old. After that, we attended somewhat regularly doing various jobs, such as computer and resume training, arts and crafts, cooking, dish washing, and English as a Second Language (my son taught an 80 year old woman wanting to learn English!).

Sunday Friends children helping with snack preparation

A Different Charity Model

We immediately noticed that Sunday Friends provides a very different charity model. It doesn’t give handouts. Handouts, although very helpful, do not provide a long lasting solution. Instead, Sunday Friends empowers families to break the generational cycle of poverty. The programs they offer foster positive development in children and educate and guide parents to support their children's life success. Children and parents work together to contribute to the community, learn practical life skills and earn basic necessities.

Volunteers helping people with computer training

One of the best activities was working in the Sunday Friends “Store” where people who earned tickets came to do holiday shopping. All these gifts were donated by people like you. My son and his cousin organized the shelves. My husband and I wrapped the gifts. People stood in line for a long time just to get into the store. The kids came in and bought for their parents or siblings. No one came in to shop for themselves. I was amazed. Families can shop at the "store" to pick up food, housewares and basic necessities. Families exchange tickets for goods that they earn from participating in Sunday Friends' programs.

Sunday Friends Holiday Gift and Basic Necessities Drive

I am also leading another volunteer project for Sunday Friends. We are collecting Toys and Holiday gifts AND Basic Necessities in the SAP Palo Alto buildings. Want to have your own bin at your company? Email Sophia Marx. All donations are tax-deductible (Tax ID: 77-0518937). Who will participate? Look for these bins in Palo Alto buildings 1, 3, and 8 near the cafeterias. Can we fill these bins multiple times? I think we can!


Most urgently needed items are: Diapers (sizes 1, 2, 3 and 4) and Wipes, Laundry Detergent, Household Cleaners, School Supplies, Toiletries, Gift cards (Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, etc.) are always welcome.

Holiday shopping Spree at Target

Come shop for an hour at the Hillsdale Target with friends and family. Bring $10-$100 to pool together with other volunteers to purchase all kinds of cool holiday gifts for Sunday Friends. Groups are assigned an age group, gender, and given $bucks$ to spend. Target gives a 20% discount on all purchases and other donors add to the fund as well.

SAP employees, sign up for the SAP Volunteer Project and sign up on the Sunday Friends site. All others can also participate. Sign up on the Sunday Friends.

Email Sophia Marx. for more information.