Friday, December 24, 2010

#91: Boys and Girls Club

I believe that all children need--and deserve--a space in which they can freely play, imagine, run around, investigate, and grow up on their own schedule.  Some children's circumstances don't allow such luxuries, but the Boys and Girls Club of St. Joseph County has the admirable goal "to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens."
This organization, which offers daily, professional, affordable child care at nine area locations, serves more than 2,000 kids each year, 75 percent of whom live in families with incomes of less than $30,000.  Programming focuses on character and leadership development, education and career development, health and life skills, the arts, and sports and recreation.  In other words, they offer more than TV and video games.

While this club has come a long way from its humble beginnings in a garage in 1974, its growth means it has greater needs.  The club at Liberty Elementary School has an almost $70,000 budget shortfall and is in danger of closing.  This deficit can seem insurmountable but stories like Justin Sergio's that was recently highlighted in the South Bend Tribune remind us that yes, we can make a difference.

Think about what you have but don't need, and then pay it forward.

Got old children's/sports stuff lying around? Click here to view the "Wish List" of the different area clubs. [I now know where I'm taking those extra five sets of cards I accumulated over time...]
Got an extra hour?  Click here to learn more about giving your time in mentoring or tutoring a child.
Got an unexpected holiday bonus? Click here to share the wealth.

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