By joining the Celebration of Youth you can help Friends of Youth continue providing services for children, youth, and their families!

Honoring a local family with 70 years of impact!

Join a virtual celebration of Greater Seattle Youth Success

On Friday, March 26th, in a virtual event, the Greater Seattle community will honor the 70 years Friends of Youth has supported local young people in their growth and success. Founded by one family with one foster home and one child—Friends of Youth now serves 3,200 people and counting, across 24 locations regionally.

Community members are invited to join Friday, March 26th, at 11:30am for a pre-show concert with local musicians, and stories starting at noon that honor youth success.

In 1951, Ms. Iva Matsen and Dr. Clinton Ostrander, pastor of University Congregational Church, with eight co-founders established Friends of Youth to support youth success out of their deeply rooted commitment to service and love in action. Mrs. Matsen and her husband, Joe, started organizing and inspiring their friends and fellow congregation members to practice what was being preached on Sundays.

For 70 years now, Friends of Youth has been a place where young people could find a sympathetic ear, grow personally, develop life skills, and contribute positively to their communities.

Today, members of the Matsen family continue to be active and involved. The organization’s founding principles are as true today as when Mrs. Matsen first articulated them:

  • An unwavering dedication to providing quality services
  • The flexibility to meet new and emerging needs, and
  • A commitment to securing the futures of the most vulnerable community members

There is still much to do to help King County’s youth in need. The impact that one person — YOU — can make through awareness and support is tremendous. Join Friends of Youth virtually Friday, March 26th as they continue the legacy of the Matsen family and their generosity and purpose through the decades.

“Mrs. Matsen and the Matsen family are extraordinary individuals who started, shared, and to this day continue to spread a vision and shared commitment to changing the world for young people, one life at a time. As we mark Friends of Youth’s 70th Anniversary, we commemorate the profound impact and lasting legacy the Friends of Youth founders have had on the Greater Seattle area and beyond,” said Paul Lwali, Friends of Youth CEO.

Friends of Youth founder Mrs. Iva Matsen with young people, circa 1953.

Friends of Youth founder Mrs. Iva Matsen with young people, circa 1953.

About Friends of Youth:

For 70 years, Friends of Youth has journeyed with young people through challenging circumstances to celebrate their holistic growth and success. Each day, the Friends of Youth community engages over 6,500 children, youth, and families across 26 sites in 18 cities across the Puget Sound region.

Friends of Youth offers the only overnight youth shelter on the Eastside, youth development initiatives, in-home family support for young parents and guardians of children up to five years old, parent education, youth and family counseling, substance abuse counseling, therapeutic foster care, residential treatment and transitional housing for homeless young people and teen mothers.

To participate in the Celebration of Youth 2021, in a virtual world (we mean it, Avatars included!) powered by Zeacon, please visit them here.

To find more information, you can also head to their website!

RELATED READING: This community celebration for local youth is seven decades in the making!

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

Eddie Cotton, a light heavyweight boxer, sharing a steak dinner with Friends of Youth’s then “Griffin Home for Boys”—a meal prepared especially for Cotton’s training for a fight that upcoming week. - Originally published in the Times Valley Bureau, October 31, 1966.

Eddie Cotton, a light heavyweight boxer, sharing a steak dinner with Friends of Youth’s then “Griffin Home for Boys”—a meal prepared especially for Cotton’s training for a fight that upcoming week. – Originally published in the Times Valley Bureau, October 31, 1966.

More in Marketplace

Donna Rasumussen and Laurae McIntyre are passionate about helping PCC stores continue thriving while staying true to their core values, and hope to earn a seat on the co-op’s board.
Nominees aim to bring on-the-ground life, work experience to PCC board

Donna Rasumussen + Laurae McIntyre want to ensure co-op’s core values are preserved

One Shot Keto Reviews: Scary Weight Loss Concerns? (Updates)

There are thousands of weight loss products on the market that all… Continue reading

AyruvaLean main image
AyruvaLean Reviews – Is Golden After 50 Stress & Weight Loss Aid Legit?

Are you tired of going through the whole process of exercising and… Continue reading

Gluco main image
Gluco Shield Pro Reviews – Real Safety Concerns or Worth It?

Gluco Shield Pro is a blood sugar supplement that uses multiple vitamins… Continue reading

Snow Teeth main image
Snow Teeth Whitening Kit Review: Does It Really Work as Promised?

The Snow At-Home Teeth Whitening Kit is a complete system to bring… Continue reading

TheraICE main image
TheraICE Headache Relief Hat Review: Hot & Cold Therapy Hat?

TheraICE RX Headache Relief is a recently patented 360® Hot and Cold… Continue reading

The Midas main image
The Midas Manifestation Review 2021: Read Before You Buy!

Are you looking for in-depth information about the Midas Manifestation course? Is… Continue reading

Confitrol24 main image
Confitrol24 Reviews – Natural Women’s Bladder Control Pills That Work?

Confitrol24 is a daily remedy to improve incontinence for women to reduce… Continue reading

BioFit main image
BioFit Reviews – Scam or Legit Probiotic Weight Loss Pills?

Biofit is a weight loss supplement that primarily focuses on the benefits… Continue reading

Gutamin main image
Gutamin 7 Reviews: Negative Side Effects or Effective Pills?

Everyone dreams of having a perfect, youthful-looking body. For most people, this… Continue reading

RingHush main image
RingHush Reviews – Cheap Scam Pills or Does Ring Hush Work?

RingHush is a natural formula that helps consumers to eliminate the stress… Continue reading

Deep Sleep main image
Deep Sleep Diabetes Remedy Review: Does It Reverse Diabetes?

Type2 diabetes is currently one of the most prevalent conditions in the… Continue reading