Note from our Executive Director and Board Chair

August 11, 2011

Dear Friend,

You may have heard in the news recently that Friends for Youth experienced a burglary at our offices in Redwood City. As an important supporter of our agency, we want to inform you of the circumstances around this event and actions being taken.

First, the good news - the burglars have been caught and most of the items taken have apparently been recovered. We are grateful to the Redwood City Police Department for their quick action and responsiveness.

But here’s the irony. The burglars were four teenage boys. Two are 16 years old, one is 15, and one is 12. They were in no way associated with Friends for Youth (although perhaps they should be). They broke in at night using a crowbar when – thankfully – no one was in the office. They took an eclectic selection of items but those with the most value were three computers, cameras, and projectors. They also took lip balm, rubber bracelets and gum! Also ironically, the youth were surprisingly neat and respectful and did not disturb any papers or do any further damage.

We want to reassure you that all the confidential data regarding our mentors and mentees is housed on a secure server that was not touched, and there was no sensitive data on the computers that were taken. However, this incidence has underscored the need for further security and we are in the process of evaluating new data storage measures.

As you can imagine, an event like this is very unsettling to our staff whose passion is in helping youth exactly like these. The sense of violation coupled with frustration that these are the kind of youth we are trying to help is difficult to process.

We have offered counseling to our staff and are making sure we communicate and get together frequently. Our landlord has been very cooperative in reinforcing security with deadbolts and other deterrents.

As you know, Friends for Youth has served at-risk youth in our local community for 32 years. We have never had an experience like this before. Through this whole ordeal is the underlying wish we could help these youth and the many more like them who are at a crucial turning point in their lives. We have served over 1,800 youth – but sadly not these four. Perhaps we will have the opportunity to help them in the future.

Please feel free to call with any questions and thank you as always for your support.


Becky Cooper

Executive Director


Petere Miner

Board Chair


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