Outstanding Ways Big Corporations Boost Boys and Girls Clubs

boysandgirlsclubFor more than 110 years, Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) has worked to improve the lives of the country’s youth through a variety of programs and activities. With a goal to engage, inspire, and empower Club members, the organization advances programs in areas such as education, sports and recreation, health and wellness, and career development. Boys and Girls Clubs throughout the country also offer programming focused on character, leadership, and the arts.

In order to continue offering programs for kids and teens of all ages, BGCA relies on the ongoing support of individual volunteers and corporate partners. Today, corporations from all areas of business are boosting BGCA to new heights by directing awareness and funds toward its work.

The following activities provide a glimpse at how members of the corporate world are advancing BGCA’s mission to help young people mature into productive, caring, and responsible adults:

Coca-Cola and Family Dollar Team Up for National Fundraising Campaign

In early 2018, The Coca-Cola Company and Family Dollar Stores launched the Make Every Sip Count campaign to raise money for BGCA programming. As part of the yearlong fundraiser, Coca-Cola and Family Dollar is giving Boys and Girls Clubs 15 percent of the purchase of every Coke product sold at Family Dollars throughout the country. The campaign, which runs throughout 2018, will provide up to $1 million for Clubs nationwide.

Make Every Sip Count is just one of the latest ways that Coca-Cola and Family Dollar have supported BGCA’s work. A longtime BGCA partner, Coca-Cola has been uplifting youth through its support of Boys and Girls Clubs for more than seven decades. Family Dollar’s efforts as a BGCA supporter have included online giving campaigns and fundraising partnerships that have raised more than $1 million over the last several years.

Raytheon Commits Millions of Dollars to After-School Programming

A member of BGCA’s Second Century Society group of corporate partners, Raytheon is one of nine organizations that have donated between $5 million and $10 million to help Boys and Girls Clubs attain its mission goals. In 2015, the company selected BGCA as one of the beneficiaries of its five-year, $10-million initiative to help military families. As part of the initiative, Raytheon has committed $5 million to create 22 BGCA-affiliated Centers of Innovation in communities with a strong military presence.

At the Centers, youth that includes mostly children of military families can take part in after-school activities focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects. Raytheon has opened Centers of Innovation in a number of US cities, including Aberdeen, Maryland; Huntsville, Alabama; and Chula Vista, California. The company has also opened a Center in Hawaii and one overseas at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

Samsung Encourages Youth to Take Action against Climate Change

Since 2015, Samsung has been partnering with BGCA on the Climate Superstars Challenge, a national competition that teaches youth about the environment and how they can work to protect it. Each year, Samsung invites BGCA members 11 to 13 years of age to take part in the Challenge by completing a series of tasks focused on sustainability. An online gaming platform tracks the progress of participants, and Samsung awards the winning Boys and Girls Club a technology makeover.

In addition to motivating young people to become environmental stewards, the Climate Superstars Challenge helps advance BGCA’s efforts to build STEM skills. In the competition’s first three years, Samsung awarded tens of thousands of dollars in electronics to Boys and Girls Clubs in New Jersey, Florida, and Massachusetts.

Maytag Recognizes BGCA Employees and Volunteers

In line with its commitment to dependability, Maytag oversees an awards program that honors dependable leaders from Boys and Girls Clubs across the country. Launched in 2010, the Maytag Dependable Leader Award is given to BGCA staff and volunteers who dedicate themselves to helping local youth succeed. In addition to receiving the recognition of their peers, all Maytag Dependable Leaders are awarded a $20,000 grant to support scholarships for their local Club members. Over the years, the program has provided more than $7 million to BGCA youth.


Disney and Toyota Back BGCA’s Youth of the Year Program

Every year since 1947, BGCA has honored teen leaders through its Youth of the Year program, which recognizes Club members for their leadership, academic achievements, and commitment to service. Today, with the support of Disney and Toyota, as well as other corporate sponsors, the program provides scholarships to participants on the state, regional, and national levels.

BGCA awards each state winner a $5,000 scholarship and each regional finalist up to $45,000 in scholarships. The teen selected as the National Youth of the Year receives a $25,000 award that can be renewed four times up to $100,000. In 2017, Disney, Toyota, and Boys and Girls Clubs celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Youth of the Year program by awarding more than $1 million in scholarships to Club teens.


Goodwill Receives over $4 Million in Grants from DOL



Erol Onel, the vice president of Heron Therapeutics, has a strong track record of success with international regulatory authorities and various divisions of the FDA. Committed to helping others outside of the medical realm, Erol Onel supports organizations such as Goodwill Industries International, which has been providing employment and job training services since 1902.

In October 2017, Goodwill Industries received a $4.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Over a period of three years, the department will administer funds to five community-based Goodwill organizations, in Austin, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; Louisville, Kentucky; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Little Rock, Arkansas, for the purpose of improving employment options for adults who are reentering society following incarceration.

Together, these community organizations have committed over $1.6 million worth of resources to provide training and education to 575 adults. These resources include assessment costs, staff time, and business development services and represent 36 percent of the total grant.

In addition, the Department of Labor granted over $1 million to Goodwill organizations in Greenville, South Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia, as part of its Reentry Project. This grant program supports the improvement of research-based services that help participants in communities with high crime and poverty rates to find better employment opportunities.

Goodwill Wins Award for Its Executive Development Program



A former assistant professor of urology at Tufts University and Medical Center, Dr. Erol Onel now serves as vice president of Heron Therapeutics, Inc., in La Jolla, California. In addition to his work, Dr. Erol Onel supports a number of charities and other organizations that make a positive impact in communities, including Goodwill Industries.

Last August, Goodwill Industries announced that it has been selected as one of the 2017 recipients of the prestigious Power of A Silver Award, which is given by the American Society of Association Executives to organizations that have demonstrated superior contributions to society. Goodwill was specifically recognized for its Executive Development Program (EDP), which helps train individuals in the skills they need to succeed as Goodwill CEOs in their particular territories.

In his comments, the president of Goodwill Industries International Jim Gibbons said the EDP program is one of the organization’s most important initiatives because it trains leaders who work directly with community individuals in need. He then recognized the program’s participants for their work in helping the organization receive the award.


Goodwill’s History of Community-Building Work


Erol Onel, MD, has built up a distinguished career in the fields of urology, andrology, reproductive health, and pharmaceutical clinical development. Currently a vice president of Heron Therapeutics, Inc., Dr. Erol Onel is also devoted to philanthropy, making regular contributions to humanitarian organizations such as Goodwill Industries International, Inc.

Goodwill manages storefronts and donation centers familiar in most larger communities across the United States. The group translates supporters’ donations into helping individuals, families, and communities to improve their circumstances. It provided job skills training, career support, and other assistance to more than 300,000 people in one recent year alone.

But far fewer people today know Goodwill’s history.

At the turn of the 20th century, Dr. Edgar Helms set out to assist individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds and people with disabilities to fulfill their potential as skilled employees and providers for their families. The Methodist minister and social reformer worked in Boston’s South End. He decided that the best way to help the people of the neighborhood to help themselves was to offer them a means of working with dignity.

So, in 1902, he founded Goodwill, through which people from disadvantaged backgrounds repaired donated clothing, then sold it at prices affordable to others of limited means. While today’s Goodwill employees no longer repair the used items they sell, the basic model of offering both employment and a means of obtaining necessities for only a nominal charge remains, with everyone involved benefiting from the transaction.