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Boys and Girls Clubs Get a Big Boost from Holiday Support

boysandgirlsclubTo continue its important work as a youth-focused nonprofit organization, Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) depends on volunteer support and financial contributions from businesses and individual donors. BGCA collects donations throughout the year, but the holiday season is an important period in its annual fundraising efforts.

Every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, many corporations invite their customers to embrace the spirit of the season by supporting fundraising campaigns benefiting Boys and Girls Clubs nationwide. Read on to learn about 2018 holiday fundraising campaigns and find out more about what you can do to support BGCA all year long.

 

A Look at BGCA’s 2018 Holiday Partners

A number of large corporations, including Coca-Cola, Disney, and UPS, have provided BCGA with millions of dollars through ongoing partnerships with the organization. These and other companies often increase their support during the holiday season to ensure that Clubs have the resources needed to operate in the upcoming year.

Here’s a quick look BGCA’s 2018 holiday partners and their fundraising efforts:

Buffalo Wild Wings – Buffalo Wild Wings, the largest sports bar brand in the US, directs its fundraising efforts toward Boys and Girls Clubs’ ALL STARS team sports program, which engages youth in football, basketball, soccer, cheer, step, and other activities. Through its 2018 holiday fundraiser, the national restaurant chain is pledging to donate $1 to the ALL STARS program for every bottle of its signature sauces and dry seasonings sold in its US locations. With the addition of other fundraising events, the goal is to raise at least $22 million.

The Coca-Cola Company – Coca-Cola has been supporting BGCA programs and activities for more than seven decades. During the 2018 holiday season, the company is partnering with Family Dollar on a campaign to give Boys and Girls Clubs 15 percent of the proceeds (up to $1 million) from all eligible purchases of Coke products sold in Family Dollar stores. The campaign represents the culmination of a yearlong partnership between Coca-Cola and Family Dollar.

Family Dollar – In addition to its partnership with Coca-Cola, Family Dollar is selling special gift bags designed by Club members, the net proceeds of which will benefit Boys and Girls Clubs. The national chain of discount stores also sells holiday-themed gift cards to support its seasonal donation to BGCA programs.

Forever 21 – Known for offering trendy clothing at affordable prices, Forever 21 is putting the “fun” in fundraising by giving Boys and Girls Clubs $1 every time a customer makes a purchase from its Ugly Sweater Collection. As part of the holiday campaign, the fashion retailer has promised BGCA up to $100,000.

Neiman Marcus – Through its Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation, Neiman Marcus supports youth arts education programs across the United States. During the holiday season, the American chain of luxury department stores promotes its partnership with BGCA via its exclusive Christmas Book as well as in-store and online advertising.

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company – With 13 amusement parks across the country, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company is known for offering family-oriented fun. As part of its commitment to kids and families, Cedar Fair is supporting BGCA through its 2018 Winterfest events. Winterfest guests have the opportunity to make a $5 donation when purchasing tickets for the event online. Cedar Fair is also providing coin collection boxes at Winterfest to raise additional money for BGCA during the holiday season.

 

What You Can Do to Support Boys and Girls Clubs Year-Round

In addition to participating in annual fundraisers and holiday giving programs, you can invest in America’s youth by supporting BGCA in a number of ways. Whether you’re looking to volunteer your time or give financially, here are some options to consider.

One-Time and Recurring Donations – Boys and Girls Clubs makes it easy to donate at any time through its secure online giving portal. With any major credit card, you can make a one-time gift or set up a monthly donation of any amount. BGCA also gives you the option of dedicating your gift to a friend or family member.

Planned Giving and Donations of Assets – If you’d like to make a lasting impact on America’s youth, you can make BGCA a beneficiary of your estate through the organization’s planned giving program. Gift options include cash, appreciated securities, real estate, insurance, and retirement assets. BGCA also accepts one-time charitable gifts of common stocks and mutual fund shares.

Online Fundraisers – You don’t have to wait until the holiday season to participate in a BGCA fundraiser. In fact, you can start your own fundraising campaign via online platforms such as CrowdRise. Special events like birthdays and weddings are the perfect time to spread the love and raise money for Club youth. If you’re participating in a community walk or race, consider turning the event into a BGCA fundraiser.

Volunteer – Local Clubs across the country rely on caring volunteers to assist with daily activities. As a Club volunteer, you can help with homework, oversee sports events, conduct an art project, or simply provide guidance to local youth. More information about volunteer opportunities in your area is available at www.bgca.org.

 

Disclaimer: This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy or validity of any statements or information provided on this website. Do not rely on this information as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another professional healthcare provider. You should seek immediate medical attention if you think you are suffering from a medical condition. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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Boys & Girls Clubs Celebrates 2018-19 Youth of the Year Winner

boysandgirlsclubSince its beginnings over 150 years ago, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) has remained focused on boosting Club members’ social and academic skills, physical health, and creativity. BGCA activities also focus on building strong character and leadership skills to ensure that youth grow into caring, responsible, and productive adults.

In recognition of Club teens who demonstrate outstanding leadership and a solid commitment to Club principles, BGCA oversees an annual Youth of the Year program. Recently, the organization named its 2018-19 National Youth of the Year during a ceremony in Washington, DC. The event represented the culmination of a yearlong process comprising local, state, and regional competitions to select BGCA’s top youth representatives. Read on to learn about the process and find out more about the National Youth of the Year winner and finalists.

 

Introducing the National Youth of the Year Program

Established in 1947, Youth of the Year has grown from a local grassroots initiative into a comprehensive leadership program implemented in Clubs nationwide. In addition to the National Youth of the Year component, the program features Youth of the Month activities, which build and recognize leadership capabilities among local Club members. The program also includes Junior Youth of the Year, a national initiative designed to develop junior leaders aged 10-13 while preparing them for later participation in the main Youth of the Year competitions and activities.

Today, thousands of Club teens participate in Youth of the Year for a chance to represent their local Club, state, and region. To become a representative at any level, Club members must demonstrate not only exceptional leadership skills but also a commitment to academic excellence, community service, and a healthy lifestyle. The title of National Youth of the Year comes with prizes and a substantial college scholarship as well as the prestige of representing 4 million Club members as BGCA’s official teen spokesperson.

 

Meet the 2018-19 National Youth of the Year Finalists

 

Each year, the six National Youth of the Year finalists include the winners from five US regions as well as BCGA-affiliated Youth Centers on military installations around the world. Here’s a quick introduction to each of the outstanding young men and women who earned recognition as 2018-19 Youth of the Year finalists:

– Cynthia A., 17

 

A high school senior associated with Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago, Cynthia has been a BGCA member since 2008. She was named the 2018-19 Midwest Youth of the Year. Her accomplishments include establishing an anti-bullying program she called MY VOICE. Cynthia plans to attend the University of Missouri-Kansas City in the hopes of becoming a doctor.

– Jeramiah L., 16

 

The Northeast Youth of the Year and a member of Boys & Girls Club of Allentown, Pennsylvania, Jeramiah has been participating in BGCA since he was 5 years old. He currently works in his Club’s literacy program and has a passion for healthy living. After graduating, the high school senior plans to attend Lehigh University in pursuit of a psychiatry degree.

– Jeniya M., 16

 

Jeniya, the Pacific Youth of the Year, has been a member of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake since 2006. At his Club, he mentors younger members and focuses on building their character and leadership skills. His plans after graduating from high school include attending the University of Utah as an engineering student.

– Hannah M., 18

 

The 2018-19 Southeast Youth of the Year, Hannah has been a BGCA member for 12 years. She attends the Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains, Tennessee, where she has focused much of her attention on helping her community and fellow Club members. Hannah is currently a college freshman studying occupational therapy at the University of Tennessee.

– Malachi H., 18

 

Colorado State University freshman Malachi is the 2018-19 Southwest Youth of the Year. He is a 12-year BGCA member affiliated with Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, Colorado. His activities at the Club include creating a literacy-focused tutoring program called Double Trouble. After graduating with a degree in kinesiology, Malachi hopes to launch a career in sports medicine.

– Ryan W., 18

 

As BGCA’s 2018-19 National Military Youth of the Year and Overseas Military Youth of the Year, Ryan is the top teen leader from BGCA-affiliated youth centers on military installations. The high school senior is a member of the NSA Singapore Child and Youth Programs and has been recognized for her service to the local youth and US military community. Ryan plans to attend New York University in pursuit of a photojournalism degree.

 

And the Winner Is . . .

On September 25, 2018, BGCA representatives and partners joined government leaders, community supporters, and celebrity Club alumni at the National Building Museum to honor Malachi H. as the 2018-19 BGCA National Youth of the Year. Along with the up to $45,000 in scholarship money he received as a regional finalist, Malachi was awarded an additional $25,000 in scholarships that can be renewed yearly for four years. He also received a trip to Walt Disney World and a brand-new car from Toyota. In winning the prestigious award, Malachi joins a long list of previous Youth of the Year winners who have gone on to attain success in various industries.

 

 

Disclaimer: This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy or validity of any statements or information provided on this website. Do not rely on this information as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another professional healthcare provider. You should seek immediate medical attention if you think you are suffering from a medical condition. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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Here Are the Top Ways BGCA Is Promoting STEM-Based Learning

Attaining success in the modern world requires a new type of skill set that centers on technological literacy and the ability to think critically and collaborate effectively with teams in physical and digital environments. To help young people develop 21st-century skills, schools and youth-driven organizations like Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) are promoting a mastery of fundamental academic subjects, such as history and language arts, while emphasizing education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines.

In 2014, BGCA hosted STEM Great Think, a national event that brought thought leaders from other nonprofit groups together with key influencers in education, government, and business to establish partnerships and programs for advancing STEM education in the out-of-school environment. Since then, Boys and Girls Clubs has continued to play a key role in inspiring youth, especially those from underserved backgrounds, to pursue an interest in STEM subjects both in and out of school. Read on for a look at what BGCA and its partners have been doing in the area of STEM education.

 

Closing the Opportunity Gap

All of BGCA’s efforts in STEM are focused on ensuring that every child, regardless of race, gender, or economic background, has the opportunity to attain success in an ever-changing world. Recently, the number of jobs in STEM fields has been growing nearly twice as fast as other disciplines. However, many young people are entering the workforce without the knowledge or skills needed to pursue a STEM career. The lack of skills and/or interest in STEM is especially prevalent among minority youth and young women, but kids and teens from low-income families are also affected.

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By offering after-school and summer educational programming to a large number of underrepresented youth, BGCA plays an important, and often unrecognized, role in closing the opportunity gap in STEM education. Past research has shown that the type of programs offered at Boys and Girls Clubs sparks young peoples’ interest in STEM fields and is particularly impactful for African-American, Asian-American, and Latino youth. According to BGCA’s 2017 National Outcomes Report, male and female 12th-grade Club members of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds are nearly twice as likely to show an interest in STEM fields as 12th graders who are not involved in their local Club.

 

Teaching Kids and Teens to Code

Boys and Girls Clubs across the country rely on corporate support to provide fun and educational STEM programs for their youth members. In 2017, BGCA and Lenovo launched a partnership to get Club members interested in coding and computer science. Through the partnership, 10 Clubs nationwide will expand their STEM programming to include app-building activities for kids and teens.

For its part, Lenovo, a leading technology provider, is offering PC equipment, computer programs, and volunteer support for “Hackathon” events at local Clubs. During the events, youth teams work with Lenovo employee volunteers to create working app prototypes. The teams then present their apps for a chance to win prizes.

The Hackathon partnership with BGCA is an extension of the long-standing relationship that Lenovo has had with local Clubs near its US global headquarters at North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park. In addition to the Wake County Boys and Girls Club in Raleigh, Clubs in Georgia, Connecticut, California, and Florida are benefitting from the Lenovo-BGCA partnership.

 

Launching STEM Centers of Innovation

Across the country and in many locations overseas, BGCA serves youth in communities that have a strong military presence. The organization began partnering with the US military nearly three decades ago and now serves over 480,000 school-aged children of military families worldwide. To help BGCA provide high-quality STEM experiences for military youth, Raytheon Company has committed $5 million to create Stem Centers of Innovation at BGCA-affiliated military installations.

To date, Raytheon has created 14 Centers of Innovation as part of its five-year funding initiative. A full-time STEM expert is available to assist youth at all of the Centers, which offer fun STEM-based programming and exciting technologies such as 3-D printers and high-definition video equipment. Centers of Innovation have been opened in Germany and several US states, including Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, and Texas. Thanks to a recent $1 million donation from The Walt Disney Company, BGCA will be able to open 12 new additional STEM Centers of Innovation in communities throughout the nation.

 

Supporting 21st-Century Teaching and Learning

Over the past few years, BGCA has been working toward a goal of engaging at least half of all Club members in some type of STEM-based programming by 2020. Clubs across the country are facilitating these efforts by offering programs such as DIY STEM. Corporations such as Samsung and Time Warner Cable have supported the program, which teaches scientific principles through hands-on activities and learning modules.

BGCA also offers STEM experiences during the summer through its Summer Brain Gain learning loss prevention program. It includes project-based activities for Club youth in elementary through high school. BGCA’s other science-based programs include Tech Girls Rock, a national initiative that supports information technology workshops for tween and teen girls 10 to 18 years old.