July 25, 2023

With a little financial help from Uncle Sam – along with lots of private donations – Kearns-based Friends of the Children Utah is thriving!

A program to assist kids in need – born three decades ago up in the Pacific Northwest – found a most inopportune time to make its way into Utah. But despite its challenging launch, Friends of the Children Utah is now thriving – bursting at the seams, to be more accurate.

“Friends of the Children Utah opened in Kearns (5361 S. 4220 West, Suite B) in March 2020 – the same time everything went into (coronavirus) lockdown across the country,” Executive Director Kelsey Lewis said. “But after serving only nine Utah kids that year, we are now up to serving 61 youth and their families.”

Lewis herself was not yet in the picture for that Utah beginning. She was hired into the organization last winter, bringing 28 years of experience serving our state’s most vulnerable children and families. A University of Utah graduate – with degrees in Sociology and Women’s Studies – Lewis says she was sold on Friends of the Children because of the long-range approach the organization takes to helping kids.

“Our slogan or motto is ‘12+ years, no matter what,’” Lewis explains. “That means we are committed to helping kids for the long haul. We enroll children into our program when they are about kindergarten age, 4 to 6. From there, our mentors, called ‘friends,’ nurture them through high school.”