By Jeanette A. Koechner | Director of Community Development
The Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Charles County relocated to its current facility on June 9, 2014. It became necessary to complete construction on the new Club and occupy it before all the funds were raised to meet the cost. The conditions in the old Club were intolerable and the atmosphere was extremely depressing due to the leaking roof, dampness, no air-conditioning and lack of space. There were so many programs that the Club was unable to offer due to the above conditions. The programs that were not being offered because of the issues were and are important. HOWEVER, since being in the new Club, we have been able to effectively introduce the programs and expand on the programs that were in place. The new Club has provided the opportunity for more children to attend and for more children to be helped with their homework. They are taught to live a healthy lifestyle and to be of good character. Since being in the new Facility, more children have been served healthy meals, free of charge. Over 60% of the children served at the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Charles County live in or below the poverty level. Many of our members do not have food available to them in their home. For some, the only nutritious meals they received are provided by the Boys & Girls Clubs and their school lunch program when school is in session. From June, 2014 thru January 2016 the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Charles County has provided more than 65,000 meals and snacks to its members, free of charge.
With the decision being made to complete the facility without all the money raised, we are in the debt reduction mode. When the debt is resolved, more funds will be freed up to help fund the valuable programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Charles County. We continue to strive every day to retire the debt and are not there yet. But with continued support that will happen.
By Jeanette Koechner | Director of Community Development
The Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Charles County Food Program continues to grow as we see the need to provide a hot nutritious meal for our children. After school the children arrive at the Club. Some walk, some are dropped off and some ride in the Boys & Girls Club vehicles. After the children have finished their homework or played in the games room, dinner is served. The food prepared for the children provides the nutritious componets to make a healthy meal. If it were not for the Boys & Girls Club Food Program many of our boys and girls would go home to a house where there is no one there and there is no food. They would not received a meal until they reported to school the next day. Over 60% of the children we serve live in or below the poverty level and are considered to be "at risk". A healthy snack is also provided to the children before they depart for the evening. Since the 2015 School Session began in August, the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Charles County has served over 7,000 meals and snacks (free of charge) to our members. We realize that for many this is the only evening meal that is available to them. A hungry child does not do well in school, A hungry child is more apt to become involved in activities that are unfavorable. Children who are not fed properly will develope more childhood illnesses and in their adult life will experience more illnesses. A hungry child will display unfavorable behavorial actions. The Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Charles County Food Program is a very important part of the Club. Hunger does not take a holiday.
By Jeanette A. Koechner | Resource Development Director
The Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Charles County has been in its new facility for 15 months and so much has happened but we are not there yet. We are still chipping away at the debt on the new facilitybut with very very small bites at a time. It goes without saying that without the debt, we could fully concentrate on the expansion of programs and more services to the children.
Every square foot of the new facility is being used in some way. Membership has continued to grow, the need for the programs provided at the Boys & Girls Club continues to grow and new programs are being introduced. Many good things have happened in the new Club. With the increase in membership and keeping with our mission by helping all children, especially those who need us the most, we have seen a big increase in the Food Program. Over 50% of the children we serve live in or below the poverty level as determined by the federal goverment. This, by no means, is their choice. Many of the children we serve go home to no food in the house. That is more than enough reason to provide for those who need us.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Charles County is a place where great futures begin.
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