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Ryan and Annie Jacob, two philanthropists from Austin, announced a $1 million donation to Friends of the Children Austin, a local non-profit fighting generational poverty. The institution is part of a national network of Friends of the Children chapters across the United States.

Friends of the Children was first established in Portland, Oregon in 1993. The institution works to support young children in overcoming adversity and realizing their inherent resilience and potential. Friends of the Children was brought to Austin, Texas in 2017 and has since partnered with Austin Independent School District and CASA of Travis County in an effort to seek the local communities’ children who are in need of consistent support.

FriendsAustin will use the donation to hire and train additional professional, full-time and bilingual mentors, known as Friends. These professionals spend four hours each week with every child in the program, building academic, social-emotional, and life skills. Friends also provide support to family members of the children to promote further stability.

“We are immeasurably grateful for the substantial commitment Ryan and Annie Jacob have made to Friends of the Children Austin,” said Nancy Pollard, executive director for FriendsAustin. “A multi-year gift of this size is transformative for our organization to ensure continued growth and sustainability. Our goal is to serve children in Austin who are most in need of the presence of a consistent, stable and professional mentor from kindergarten through high school graduation; the long-term and significant partnership with the Jacob’s provides a huge impact on our capacity to achieve that goal.”

“Improving the lives of children facing systematic obstacles is a philanthropic focus for our family,” said Annie Jacob. “FriendsAustin continues to perform phenomenal work to ensure children throughout the Austin area have a positive, stable role model. The mentors, or Friends, create meaningful experiences to explore each child’s unique talents and interests. FriendsAustin is shaping the future leaders of our local community and our nation. We are proud to support a non-profit organization that directly impacts our local community.”

Ryan Jacob added, “Friends of the Children has developed a successful model to spark generational change among children that are facing adversity. We are proud to support FriendsAustin and we hope that our donation will enable FriendsAustin to continue to provide children with a solid foundation for future success.”

Annie Jacob is a teacher, volunteer and advocate for children in disadvantaged environments. She was previously an elementary teacher in Richmond, California, and now serves on the FriendsAustin Board of Directors. The Jacob family is continuously working to ensure children facing adversity are properly recognized and acknowledged.

Consider contributing to Friends of the Children Austin by making a financial giftin-kind donation, and supporting a local event. To learn more about Friends of the Children Austin, please visit friendsaustin.org.