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NewsChannel 21 commits its resources to support the health and well-being of Central Oregon's children by actively partnering with local community agencies that provide services to children and their families.

21 Cares for Kids Partners

Assistance League® of Bend, founded in 1989, Chartered October 5, 1993, is an all volunteer, nonprofit organization consisting of a dedicated group of women with a passion for supporting the local community in a direct, meaningful way. Our primary focus is on the root causes of poverty through a variety of philanthropic programs and projects. Assistance League of Bend also leverages its resources to improve the quality of life for all adults and children. You Can Help Make A Brighter Day!

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon is a one-to-one mentoring program. Our mission is to empower youth to achieve their highest potential through meaningful one-to-one relationships with caring mentors. Big Brothers Big Sisters, a program of J Bar J Youth Services, is the oldest and largest one-to-one mentoring program in Central Oregon, providing careful screening, training, matching, support and supervision of caring mentors with youth.


Healthy Beginnings, a non-profit agency, believes that all children should enter kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed. Through engagement of community resources and volunteers, the program provides a comprehensive assessment and referral service for the health and development of young children throughout Central Oregon. Covering 12 key areas, the free screenings determine whether a child is developing appropriately for their age including identifying concerns that can easily be overlooked at regular check-ups. Since its inception in 1994, the program has provided services and assessments for thousands of local children, because every child deserves a healthy beginning.

Friends of the Children is an evidence-based nonprofit program working to break the cycle of generational poverty. Our mission is to impact generational change by empowering youth through relationships. We select children, ages 4-6, who are born into circumstances they cannot control and pair them with a salaried, professional mentor called a “Friend” who stays with them from kindergarten through graduation –12 ½ years, no matter what. Each child receives weekly 1:1 mentorship in the classroom, on the playground, and in the community. According to the Harvard Business School Association of Oregon, for every $1 invested in Friends of the Children, there is a $7 return on investment to the community.

Deschutes United Way kicks off campaign

The United Way of Central Oregon builds awareness and mobilizes our communities to invest and support strategies that grow resilience, promote the dignity of people in our region and respond to the persistent needs that exist in Central Oregon. For nearly 70 years, United Way has leveraged the power of community philanthropy to raise and invest local funds in support of a vibrant nonprofit sector that can respond to the most urgent needs of our neighbors. The United Way of Central Oregon is partnering across issues, counties and sectors to support collective responses that address regional, systemic and longstanding issues of access and inequity. The United Way's motto of "Live United" is about working together to alleviate the issues that destabilize communities.

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