Jul 19, 2016

Your help makes sure no child goes hungry

Thanks for making sure no child goes hungry!
Thanks for making sure no child goes hungry!

When you sponsor a child at the Boys & Girls Club, you're giving them a lot of great advantages to help them do well in school and in life. From getting homework help, to keeping them active and fit, to helping them make new friends and develop important social skills. But that's not all. With your support, the Club is also helping kids meet one of their most basic needs - Hunger.

We believe that hunger is the most important health issue facing kids today at Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley. According to Feeding America, Orange County has the 9th highest number of people struggling with food insecurity among all counties. That’s not just in our state, but in the entire country. 50% of all public school children in Orange County rely on the government’s free and reduced price lunch program to make sure that they get at least one healthy meal every day. But, what about kids out of school time?

One of our staff at the Oak View Branch says of a Club member, “Adam mentioned that there’s no food at home and he’s always telling me he’s hungry. I’ve noticed that it’s hard for him to focus. He just can’t seem to concentrate and he’s tired all the time.”

Kids like Adam are struggling because they are hungry and worried about where their next meal is coming from. That’s why the Club is focusing on nutrition this year as the heart of our health and life skills programming. Here's how your support helps make sure that no child at the Boys & Girls Club goes hungry:

1. You help us serve 35,000 meals each year to hungry kids at our Oak View Branch and Twilight Education Project. 

2. You help us give countless healthy snacks to kids at ALL of our locations so every child has access to fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious foods each day. 

3. You help us send backpacks full of food home with kids in our Twilight Education Project so they won't go hungry over the weekend when they can’t get school lunches.

Not only are we feeding the kids in our community who are most in need, we’re teaching them, too. Kids participate in cooking classes in our teaching kitchens so they know how to prepare healthy meals and snacks at home. And, kids get nutrition classes every month so they know which foods are good for their bodies and will help them grow up strong and healthy.

Please consider making another gift or spreading the word by sharing this project with your friends. By meeting the children's most basic need, you're helping kids be ready to take on all the other challenges in their lives, like that tough math test or the new spelling words that their teacher handed out this week. And, you're helping kids just be kids and have fun playing by taking the grown up worry of whether there is enough to eat off of their minds. Thanks for making that possible! 

Apr 20, 2016

You've made such a difference to Yeraldine

I'd like to introduce you to Yeraldine. She's one of the kids at our Oak View Branch, which is free for every child who attends. She was recently named our "Youth of the Year." At the Boys & Girls Club, we have a year-long program to celebrate the outstanding children in our programs. We start with honoring Kids of the Week, moving up to Kids of the Month, and the finally, one special child is named Youth of the Year. Yeraldine was chosen for this honor because she exemplifies all that we hope for each of the kids in our programs. She shows hard work, dedication to the community, kindness, courage, perseverance, teamwork, commitment, and much more. Keep reading to find out all about what makes her so special. 

Yeraldine has big goals and the Club is helping her achieve them. She says, “I want to have the title of being the first person in my family to ever attend a university. I plan to graduate high school with the highest possible grades. After graduation, I plan on attending a university and becoming an accountant, because I enjoy working with numbers. But the most important plan that I hope to accomplish in the future is to be able to make my parents and younger siblings proud of me. I want to show my parents that their hard work always trying to keep our family stable will pay off. For my siblings, I want them to look at me as a role model to show that anything is possible with hard work and determination.” We know she makes her family and her friends at the Club proud of her every day and she’s well on her way to making her dreams of a college education come true. She maintains a 4.0 GPA, and especially appreciates the Education Center at the Club, which she says helps her with her AP math class and honors classes.

Yeraldine is creative and loves to see how other kids create and imagine as well. One of her favorite activities at the Club is making art projects. She says, “Not only are we able to create our own art, but we are able to see what other people create. We can see that someone using the same materials as you can think of and create something completely different. I find this fascinating that everyone can create different things that seem out of this world. All you need is imagination, which it’s impossible not to have.”

Yeraldine is an active volunteer, already making a difference in her community. She helps with monthly neighborhood cleanups and she volunteers at the library helping younger children learn to read. She says, “I want kids to see that reading allows you to live through many different lives and travel to many different universes that you would have never imagined.”

“Thanks to the Club, I have learned not to limit myself, but to say that I am able to do what I put my mind to. The power is within me and I have to show other people that I’m able to change the world.”

You are the one who makes it possible for the Club to be there for Yeraldine and other kids like her. You are helping them feel powerful, limitless, and ready to change the world! And, you're giving them the tools they need to be successful so that those are more than just words and ideas. Thank you. I know you've made a big difference to Yeraldine. I hope you'll continue to support the Club and help us reach more children like Yeraldine.  

Apr 20, 2016

Grand Opening Next Week - You're Invited!

Our big day is almost here and we couldn't have come this far without you! Next Tuesday, April 26, we will offer tours of our brand new Boys & Girls Club on the Golden West College campus in Huntington Beach and have a special ribbon cutting ceremony at 6pm. Then, our new Boys & Girls Club will officially open its doors for our community's kids!

If you are local to our new Club in Huntington Beach, California, please join us! We would love to have you come to the grand opening and see for yourself what you have helped make possible for the kids in the community. You can RSVP by emailing eluong@bgchv.com. If you are far away, don't worry - we'll send you pictures soon!

A mom named Nicole whose son attends one of our other Huntington Beach locations says, "I work full time to support Morgan and myself. My job is at all times of the day.  Having Morgan at the Boys & Girls Club provides extended care when I have to work when he isn’t in school.  Without affordable care here, I wouldn’t be able to work, because I couldn’t afford childcare." 

Thanks to you and the brand new Boys & Girls Club that your support is making possible, thousands more moms like Nicole will be able to get the affordable care that they need for their kids. And, I'm proud to tell you that it's not just affordable care, it's top quality care. In the last year, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has ranked Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley #1 in the nation for education programs, #2 in the nation for innovations in safety, and #1 in the nation for arts education. For all these awards, our organization was chosen from among more than 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide. Thanks for helping us give the kids we serve the very best! 


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