As we reflect on 2020, there’s no denying that it was a uniquely challenging year. When we reopened our newly redeveloped Clubs at the end of 2019, none of us could have imagined the way we would be using those Clubs and all the new technology within them this year.

Like many businesses throughout the country and our community, our Boys & Girls Clubs have had to pivot and adjust our programs and services to meet the changing needs of our members and families. We have implemented strict health and safety protocols, reduced our member-to-mentor ratio and capacity to ensure social distancing, introduced virtual programming to offer a continuity of support for members who can’t be with us in person, and most importantly, began providing full-day in-Club services to ensure students have access the tools, technology, and mentors they need to successfully navigate distance learning. This is especially critical for our members whose parents are unable to work from home and those whose families do not have computers or internet access.

Of the more than 9,000 youth we serve, 87% are considered low income and will likely experience greater educational inequalities as a result of this pandemic than their peers from higher income families. Our mission is to provide 100% of our members, regardless of their background or zip code, with access to the mentors, champions, skills, and resources they need to continue learning, exploring, discovering, and pursuing greatness.

As 2020 comes to a close with no end in sight for the current health climate, we remain fully committed to doing whatever it takes to provide the mentors and support systems every child needs to continue working toward reaching his or her greatest potential. We ask you to join us in doing whatever you can to support our kids’ futures by making a gift of greatness to support this commitment.

Our kids need the Club, and we need you. The year-end giving season has arrived, Giving Tuesday is December 1, and all gifts are tax-deductible. If you’re unable to make a gift, please share this post with your friends and loved ones who are looking to support local children and families this holiday season. On social media, please share using the hashtags #GivingTuesday and #bgccentraloc.

On behalf of our entire Club family, we wish you and yours safe, healthy, and happy holidays.