Usually when I email you, I’m sharing information or stories about our work to help you understand what Boys and Girls Clubs (BGC) is all about. Today, it struck me that to really understand our work, you should probably know that it is all intentionally designed and executed to achieve our vision: that all children and youth discover and achieve their dreams and grow up to be healthy, successful, and active participants in society. Vision statements are supposed to be lofty. That one is, but it’s doable, and I hope you’ll bear with me while I explain how.
When we evaluate the impact of our work, one of the questions we ask children and youth is “How does BGC make you feel?” While that might not strike you as a logical question to ask kids when we’re evaluating our programs, the most common, spontaneous, unscripted answer they give is the secret to it all: “It makes me feel safe.” When you really think about it, whether they’re 6 or 17, that answer tells us that not only are we giving them that feeling, but that there are other times/places in their life where they don’t feel safe. I suppose that shouldn’t surprise us, because every day, we hear heartbreaking stories of crime, violence, gangs, drugs, poverty, and homelessness in our communities…often involving or affecting children and youth.
You see, to DO the work we do, we must give kids a place where they choose to come during their out of school hours. Thousands of children and youth choose BGC because it’s a place they feel safe. And once they choose BGC, the rest falls into place. Meeting mentors and lifelong friends, sports and physical activity, creative arts, cooking, homework help, out trips to community, and leadership roles are all core offerings at BGC. It’s a place to build confidence, to learn and dream, and to be part of a community – BGC – that will help them to be successful.
We rely on the generosity of people like you because our Clubs and Camp are self-funded (i.e. not funded by government), and parents pay what they can (up to and including the full cost). So every gift is supporting one or many amazing local kids who deserve the chance to live their best life, and just need a little help from all of us. Whether you might want to fund a kid (or many), a snack (or many), an activity (or a full scale program…or many…lol), you can do that AND have incredible impact that wouldn’t otherwise happen. Click here to help.
President & CEO
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