Oct 26, 2017

A heartfelt thank you from one of our Club members

Giselle says thank you!
Giselle says thank you!

Last week, one of our Club member's spoke at Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley's annual benefit about how the Club and supporters like you have changed her life by offering free programs at the Club's Oak View Branch. I'd like to share with you what she had to say: 

"My name is Giselle, I am seventeen years old and a senior at Ocean View High School. I was born and raised in the Oak View Community. My mother is a single parent raising three kids on her own, I have an older brother, his name is Carlos and he is 20. I have a younger sister, her name is Ashley and she is 13. My dad left when I was five years old, and the four of us went through a lot. Until now he hasn’t had the decency to see us, but we don’t mind because we have a wonderful mother who took on both roles of being a parent. When my father first left, out of all my siblings, I was the one who took it the hardest. I became very angry, I would blame myself for my father leaving. It took me years to finally understand that it wasn’t my fault he left, but it was his decision to leave. Around the time my father left, Oak View had an increase of gang members around the community. Everywhere you went you would see a gang’s name tagged up on a side of an apartment. Cops would be patrolling the area, probably two or three times a day. It was a “normal” thing in the Oak View Community.

Before the Boys and Girls Club opened, a few other after-school programs came to our community, but they only lasted for a few years.  I only attended for probably a year because it wasn’t meaningful to me. I remember the day I saw two people with red shirts that said “Boys and Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley” written on the back. I thought “who are they?” I remember clearly the kids talking about them, and how they were planning to take over the community center. A few months later, October 1st 2012 rolls around, and the Club opened its Oak View Branch at the Oak View community center. I can honestly say from that day forward I had no idea how much impact they would have on me and the Oak View Community. Joining the Boys and Girls Club has changed my life for the better, they helped the community become better. Since they opened, gang members that would hang around the center, slowly but surely started to leave. I’m so happy with the change that they have created, they brought in safety that wasn’t there before, and positive energy.

The Club shaped me into the person I am today, responsible, determined, and most importantly they helped me believe in myself. Before the program opened, I never thought of attending college, but now I will be the first in my family to go to college. I hope to attend UCLA next fall. I think if the program never opened their doors, I honestly would have no idea what I would have been doing with my life, I would have probably thought there was no future outside the community. The Club taught me to work hard, that there is more beyond the boundaries of Oak View. I want to give a huge thank you to everyone from the Boys & Girls Club who had an impact on my life, without their guidance, support, I would have never have done it without them."

Thank you for being there for Giselle, for helping bring safety to her community, for giving her guidance and role models that are helping her dream of big things for her future, and for teaching her to work hard to make those dreams come true. Your support makes a big difference. Thank you!  

Jul 14, 2017

From homeless to hopeful - thanks to you

Thanks for "pulling for" the kids!
Thanks for "pulling for" the kids!

This year, the Club will give nearly $800,000 in scholarships to families in need so that every family can afford to have access to quality care they can count on at the Boys & Girls Club. Contributors like you are what makes it possible for the Club to give kids from all backgrounds award-winning programs to help them reach their full potential. Your support ensures that every family pays only what they can afford, even if that’s nothing at all.

A mom named Ashley says, “I am barely making enough money to pay my bills and I am getting back on my feet from being homeless. Without the Club’s scholarship program, I wouldn’t earn enough at my job to pay for childcare. This scholarship means the world to me – giving me peace of mind, knowing my son won’t be alone after school.”

Rebuilding after homelessness is not easy. But thanks to your support, Ashley’s child is in the Club’s safe environment instead of out on the streets. The reliable, affordable care her child gets thanks to the Club’s scholarship program means Ashley can go to work every day and provide for her family. That’s because of you. Instead of being a handout, your contribution gives her the helping hand up that she needs to make a better life for her kids. Thank you!

If you'd like to help even more families like Ashley's, you can make a gift today or share this project with your friends so they can get involved, too. 

Apr 14, 2017

Meet Emily and see how you are changing her life

Thank you for helping kids like Emily!
Thank you for helping kids like Emily!

Kids at the Boys & Girls Club feel like it has changed their lives for the better. Your support is what makes that possible. I'd like to tell you about a 5th grader named Emily, who is one of the children whose life you are changing.

Emily has been coming to the Club every day after school and during the summer ever since kindergarten. She says, "The Club helps me succeed because I get to know kids that are different from me and ones that I wouldn't meet anywhere else. The Club also helps me with my homework so I can do well in school. The staff always make sure to help if I don't understand something. And the Club helps me be active and learn good sportsmanship. When I grow up, I'd love to become the director of a Boys & Girls Club because I like helping other kids at the Club." 

You're helping Emily see the good in other kids from all backgrounds. You're helping her do better in school. You're helping her stay fit and healthy. You're helping her learn to be part of a team. You're helping her see the value, importance, and good feeling you get from helping others. Those are big gifts that you are giving to this little girl. Thank you.  

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