January 10, 2023

Gary and Christine Rood Gift $33 Million to Support Friends of the Children Long-term Mentoring Model

Historic gift will provide powerful sustaining momentum to serve thousands more children for 12+ years, no matter what

The Friends of the Children Network received a three-year, $33 million gift from philanthropists Gary and Christine Rood of Vancouver, WA. This gift offers powerful sustaining momentum for our organization to serve thousands more children, many of whom are in—or at risk of entering—foster care.

“Gary and Christine have been generous supporters of Friends of the Children since 2018. But when we learned about this gift, and the timing, we were astonished and overwhelmed at their sincere generosity,” said Terri Sorensen, CEO of Friends of the Children - National. “It is incredible to kick off both our 30th anniversary and National Mentoring Month with this extraordinary gift. This investment opens up opportunities for the network and the youth we serve and provides us the unique opportunity to establish the first-ever national learning hub for long-term mentoring.”

Of the $33 million gift, $28 million will support expanding our child and whole-family well-being services to thousands more children and families throughout the nation, including $5 million to be directly given to the Friends of the Children - SW Washington chapter located in the Rood’s community. The remaining $5 million will establish the Friends of the Children National Center of Excellence, which will be named after our founder, Duncan Campbell, and his wife Cindy and will be headquartered in the historic flagship building of Friends of the Children’s first chapter at 44 NE Morris St. in Portland, Ore.

“Friends of the Children’s proven track record and long-term commitment to youth deserves not just recognition but continued and sustaining investment,” said 84-year-old Gary Rood. “We are deeply committed to giving generously now because so many children and families need support now more than ever. We also want to see the fruits of this gift within our lifetime. It will be an honor to witness how this gift may transform youth and their communities across the country in the next few years.”

The gift, which is the largest ever given by the Roods to a single organization, comes off the heels of philanthropist MacKenzie Scott’s historic $44 million gift to the Friends of the Children national network last August. Citing Scott’s historic gift and the multi-year, multimillion-dollar gift from basketball legend Michael Jordan as inspiration for their gift, the Rood’s donation will span three years to support Friends of the Children.

A press release on the gift can be found below: