This holiday season, I want to tell you about the good you are doing for kids at the Boys & Girls Club. In October, we opened a brand new branch to serve the children of the Oak View community in Huntington Beach. It's totally free for kids, because nearly all children in that community are living in poverty. That means we count on your support to sponsor children to attend the Club.
In your neighborhood, who meets kids as they get off the bus? Maybe stay at home moms or babysitters. In Oak View, it’s a different story. There are gang members waiting in the streets and alleys. They are there to talk to the kids, especially middle schoolers. They make it seem like life in the gang is a great thing – cool new friends, people to look out for you. But, as you and I know, it comes at a huge price.
For kids like 6th grader Rafael, the Club has been a life saver. Instead of walking and talking with the guys in the local gang and being lured into a dangerous life, he’s coming to the Boys & Girls Club.
His mom insisted that he start coming to the Club when it first opened. At first, he was really rebellious. He refused to talk to the other kids. He didn’t want to listen to the staff and he didn’t understand why he had to be there. However, with all the fun activities, he learned pretty quickly just how awesome an afternoon at the Club can be. Now, he’s one of the first to arrive and the last to leave every day. He signs up for just about every new program the Club has to offer. And, he has become a really social kid who loves to get other kids together for games.
Becky, the Oak View Branch’s Program Director, told me, “It’s such a great thing to be able to give him a safe place to be – off the streets. It’s scary out there for the kids with gang members hanging around the neighborhood. I’m so glad we can be here to keep the kids safe.” You and your support are what makes that possible. Thank you!
The Boys & Girls Club family wishes you a wonderful holiday season!