boys and girls club

A Look at the History of Boys and Girls Clubs of America

The roots of Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) can be traced back over 150 years to when three civic-minded Connecticut women organized the first club to help boys in need to get off the streets. From its humble beginnings, BGCA has become a well-respected national organization with a presence in communities across the country, as well as Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and military bases worldwide. Keep reading for a closer look at the history and evolution of BGCA.

 

Early History – Club Beginnings

boysandgirlsclubIn 1860, sisters Mary and Alice Goodwin joined Elizabeth Hammersley in founding the first club that would form the basis of BGCA. Known as The Dashaway Club, it began casually when the women invited a group of boys roaming the streets into their Hartford, Connecticut, homes for refreshments and recreation. The Dashaway Club soon expanded its home-based locations, leading the founders to rent a meeting hall to hold activities for club participants.

Two decades after its founding, The Dashaway Club underwent a reorganization led by another prominent Hartford woman, Mary Stuart Hall. Hall, who was Connecticut’s first female lawyer, renamed the club The Good Will Boys Club and directed its focus on proving that misbehaved street children could develop into productive members of society if given the right support and guidance. She specifically used her background in law to teach the boys and young men societal rules and expectations. Hall worked closely with the club for nearly five decades until her death in 1927.

 

Clubs Spread across the Country

By the time Hall began the reorganization of The Dashaway Club, similar organizations had already been established in cities outside of Hartford. One of the first of these was a club in New Haven that formed in the early 1870s. Led by John C. Collins, the club was based on a system of supportive guidance that is still a large part of the BGCA environment. Collins went on to develop a network of clubs throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Another early club, and one of the first to use “Boys’ Club” in its name, was The Boys’ Club of New York. The organization was founded in 1876 on the East Side of Manhattan by railroad magnate E.H. Harriman. As it grew in popularity, the club had to move to a five-story building to accommodate the large number of members. Soon, these early boys’ clubs in New York and New England were joined by similar organizations in other parts of the country. By the early 20th century, over three dozen clubs were operating in cities such as Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Nashville, and San Francisco.

 

Becoming a National Organization

The growing number of boys’ clubs in the United States led a group of early club leaders to join forces as part of a national movement. Their work led to the founding of the Federated Boys’ Clubs in 1906. The 53 clubs that comprised the federated union were the original members of a national organization that would be renamed Boys’ Clubs Federation in 1915 and Boys’ Clubs of America in 1931.

Over the next few decades, the Boys’ Clubs movement continued to spread across the country. By the early 1970s, the United States was home to 1,000 Clubs serving 1 million children. In 1980, the organization dropped the apostrophe from its name to become Boys Clubs of America. However, this name was short-lived.

Starting in the 1950s, Clubs nationwide had also started welcoming many female participants, a fact that wasn’t reflected in the “Boys’ Club” moniker. To recognize that girls were a welcome part of the organization, its leaders launched an effort to change its name in the late 1980s. In September 1990, the national organization’s name was officially changed to Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

 

Boys and Girls Clubs Today

Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, membership in Boys and Girls Clubs of America continued to grow. By the time BGCA celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006, approximately 2,000 local Clubs were helping over 2.5 million children and teens. Today, BGCA membership sits at over 4.7 million youth at more than 4,600 Club facilities.

In recent years, BGCA has focused on expanding the reach and scope of its programs. There are now over 1,000 Clubs in rural areas and nearly 500 BGCA-affiliated youth facilities on military installations around the globe. Additionally, there are more than 300 Clubs in public housing areas and nearly 200 Clubs on native lands.

From the earliest days of the organization, the programming at BGCA has sought to build good character and leadership while promoting healthy lifestyles and academic success. While the focus remains the same today, the group’s Academic Success Programs have changed somewhat in recent years to emphasize 21st-century skills. Members across all Clubs now take part in a variety of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) activities via programs such as Computer Science Pathway, DIY STEM, and Tech Girls Rock.

This type of programming now plays a key role in ensuring that BGCA can fulfill its mission and vision in order to help young people reach their full potential and find success as responsible, caring, and productive citizens. More information about BGCA’s history and its current programs 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.

Advertisements
woman

Military Service Groups Receive Boost from Wounded Warrior Project

wounded warrior projectWounded Warrior Project (WWP) has been busy recently advancing its various initiatives in support of military veterans and their families. Across the country, local WWP events and activities have provided opportunities for members to socialize and learn more about the many ways that they can benefit from veterans’ programs and services.

WWP has also been working nationally to promote its own activities while supporting those of other organizations. Recently, Wounded Warrior announced its latest investments and partnerships with nearly two dozen veteran and military service groups. These organizations will receive a combined $6.9 million from WWP, which has provided over $88 million to 165 organizations over the last decade. Keep reading for a closer look at a few of WWP’s 2019 community partners.

 

Veterans of Foreign Wars

With a history dating back to 1899, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) has been supporting veterans, service members, and their families for well over a century. Over the years, the group has played a major role in helping to establish many of the programs that are available to retired and active-duty military personnel.

Today, VFW’s various programs help veterans of every generation to file VA claims and access mental-wellness support services. The organization also offers scholarships for post-secondary studies and financial grants for military families in need. In recent years, VFW has distributed nearly $20 million in scholarships and other financial assistance.

 

Warrior Reunion Foundation

A group recently founded by two Marine combat veterans, the Warrior Reunion Foundation has been operating since 2017. As its name suggests, the focus of the organization is on reuniting veterans and active military members who served with one another in combat. Since its inception, the group has organized several military reunions and reunited more than 300 combat veterans.

The Warrior Reunion Foundation’s programs help military members to reconnect and build support networks comprised of individuals with similar shared experiences. With the support of individual donors and groups such as WWP, the Warrior Reunion Foundation is able to continue to expand its work.

 

Homes for Our Troops

For the last 15 years, Homes for Our Troops has been building and donating specially adapted custom homes for post-9/11 veterans who have been severely injured in combat. The organization also continues to support the veterans that it serves after their homes are completed by providing pro bono financial planning assistance, home ownership education, and warranty coverage. Additionally, the group works with other nonprofits, as well as corporations and government entities, to ensure that each veteran has access to the assistance that they need.

Since its founding in 2004, Homes for Our Troops has built more than 270 specially adapted homes across the country. The group’s work has earned it recognition as a top-rated military charity with Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, and GuideStar. Currently, Homes for Our Troops is overseeing home-building projects in several states.

 

Hiring Our Heroes

Hiring Our Heroes is a US Chamber of Commerce Foundation initiative that launched in 2011. The initiative leverages the support of local chambers of commerce, as well as various strategic partners, to ensure that veterans, active service members, and military spouses have access to meaningful employment opportunities in their communities.

A regular participant in job fairs and other events nationwide, Hiring Our Heroes offers a free suite of digital tools. These tools include online resume builders and resources to help veterans transition from military to civilian careers. Over the years, the Hiring Our Heroes initiative has helped hundreds of thousands of veterans and military spouses to obtain employment.

 

Elizabeth Dole Foundation

The United States is home to more than 5.5 million military caregivers, including spouses, parents, children, and friends who are committed to supporting veterans with physical and/or behavioral health issues. To ensure that these men and women have access to their own support services, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation promotes public policy, advances research, and leads collaborative efforts to recognize the work of military caregivers and promote their well-being.

Some of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s current programs and activities include the Campaign for Inclusive Care, which seeks to improve communication and collaboration between veterans’ health care teams and their caregivers. Wounded Warrior Project is a coalition partner supporting these efforts. WWP is also helping to fund research by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation to examine the needs of children of military caregivers.

 

WWP’s Other 2019 Partners

In addition to these five organizations, WWP is working with several other groups on single or multi-year partnerships throughout 2019. They include the following: Center for a New American Security; Vets’ Community Connections; America’s Warrior Partnership; Team Red, White and Blue; HillVets; and the National Military Family Association.

WWP’s work with these groups will help to raise awareness about the issues that the nation’s veterans face and ensure that they have access to programs, tools, and other resources to support their physical and behavioral health and overall well-being.

 

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.

boys and girls club

Alumni of Boys and Girls Clubs Make a Difference in the World

For more than a century and a half, Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) has been providing the nation’s youth with a safe place to learn, grow, socialize, and prepare for success in their future academic and career pursuits. Over the years, millions of young people have benefitted from Club programs and have gone on to make major contributions to their professions and communities.

Today, BGCA estimates that the number of Club alumni in the world is close to 16 million people. To support these former Club members and provide them with opportunities to advance current BGCA programs, the organization recently launched its Alumni and Friends network. As part of the group’s work, BGCA oversees its Alumni Hall of Fame and operates various alumni initiatives. Read on to learn more about the latest Hall of Fame honorees and find out how BGCA alumni work in support of local Clubs and their youth members.

 

The BGCA Alumni Hall of Fame

While BGCA values the stories of all of its former members, it places a special emphasis on highlighting those individuals whose Club experiences helped to lead them to successful careers and/or roles in society. Each year, the organization recognizes top alumni by inducting a new class of honorees into the BGCA Alumni Hall of Fame.

In addition to accomplished business executives and government leaders, BGCA Alumni Hall of Fame members include well-known Olympians and professional athletes, as well as award-winning actors, musicians, and other artists. The Hall of Fame also comprises prominent military and community leaders.

The list of well-known Hall of Fame honorees includes top actors such as Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, along with successful athletes like Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Jordan, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Ashanti Douglas, Trey Songz, and several other musicians have also been inducted into the BGCA Alumni Hall of Fame. Other prominent members include the dancer Misty Copeland, politician Judith Zaffirini, and Olympic gold medalist Brook Bennett.

 

winter-3260935_1280

 

Meet the 2019 Hall of Fame Honorees

The BGCA Alumni Hall of Fame recently got a bit bigger due to the addition of the 2019 class of inductees. Although each of the seven class members came from different backgrounds and went on to pursue different interests, they all share the experience of finding success in their chosen field after benefitting from the programs offered at their local Boys and Girls Club. The 2019 BGCA Alumni Hall of Fame inductees include the following:

Colonel John Chu—A former member of Boys and Girls Clubs of Fullerton in California, Colonel Chu attended his local Club from the age of 12 through high school. He went on to graduate from the US Military Academy and now commands more than 6,000 soldiers at Georgia’s Fort Gordon.

Trinity “Naomi” Fatu—Trinity Fatu attended Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida and grew up to become a dancer for the NBA’s Orlando Magic. She joined professional wrestling’s WWE later in her career and has been a cast member on Totally Divas on E since 2013.

Denise White—As a member of the Escondido Girls Club in California, Denise White found the support she needed after spending her early childhood in foster care. Today, she is a successful business leader who oversees one of the top athlete management firms in the sports industry.

Tom Ehlmann—Tom Ehlmann became a member of St. Charles Boys Club in Missouri when he was 8 and maintained membership throughout high school. His Club experience helped to lead him on the path to his current career as the president and general manager of Dallas’ NBC TV station. He also serves as a board member for Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas.

 

Benefits of Becoming a BGCA Alumni Member

Regardless of what they’ve done since moving on from their local Club, BGCA invites all alumni and supporters to join its Alumni and Friends network. With help from national sponsor Keurig Dr Pepper and national spokesperson Shaquille O’Neal, the BGCA Alumni and Friends network recruits and engages with former Club members from across the United States and other countries around the globe.

Alumni and supporters who join the network have the opportunity to reconnect with other former members of their hometown Clubs while building new relationships with Club members and friends from other areas of the country. The BGCA Alumni and Friends network also provides members with access to scholarships, mentorship, and career-support resources. This includes the support and resources offered as part of the “Stay Connected” campaign for new Club alumni who are graduating from high school.

In addition to providing Alumni and Friends with opportunities to improve their own lives, the network makes it easy for members to serve as advocates or volunteers for local Boys and Girls Clubs. Those who become involved can provide direct support for Club activities and help champion youth programming on the state and federal levels. More information about the BGCA Alumni and Friends network 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.

golf

Here Are the Details for the 2019 Purple Heart Open

MOPHlogoThe Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) and its fundraising arm, the Purple Heart Foundation, offer supporters a variety of ways to advance their mission. These organizations are focused on supporting military veterans, particularly those wounded in combat.

In addition to making a one-time or recurring donation online, supporters can take part in one of the organizations’ fundraising initiatives. These include the Purple Heart Foundation’s thrift store and Purple Heart Cars programs.

Each year, the Foundation also hosts and participates in several fundraising events across the country. The group’s most popular event is the Purple Heart Open, a charity golf tournament entering its third year. Keep reading for a closer look at the event and what you should know if you plan to attend.

 

About the Event

First held in 2017, the Purple Heart Open brings amateur golfers and special guests together for a fun day of golfing and entertainment. The event features a shotgun-start golf tournament along with a silent auction, awards reception, and dinner buffet. During tournament play, golfers also have access to a grill with snacks and beverages.

In 2019, the 3rd Annual Purple Heart Open will be held on Monday, June 24 at the International Country Club in Fairfax, Virginia. The day’s activities will begin at 10:30 a.m. with on-site registration, a continental breakfast, and the opening of the silent auction.

Prior to the beginning of tournament play at noon, the event will feature an opening ceremony followed by a color guard presentation and the singing of the national anthem. Golfers and other Open participants will end the day with a formal awards reception and dinner buffet starting at 5 p.m.

 

2019 Course Details

Located at 13200 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway in Fairfax, the International Country Club features an 18-hole championship golf course that first opened in 1961. Over the years, the course has received several notable awards. It was listed among the Virginia State Golf Foundation’s list of the top 25 golf courses and was the recipient of the US Chamber of Commerce Association’s Best Golf Course in Fairfax award for three consecutive years.

Golfers participating in the 3rd Annual Purple Heart Open will have the chance to test their skills on the award-winning course, which measures over 6,800 yards from the championship tees. It features a variety of short and long holes, including an opening par 5 that offers a birdie opportunity for long hitters. The remainder of the course comprises mostly par 4s interspersed with two additional par-5 holes and four par-3 holes.

 

golf-ball

 

How to Participate

Those who would like to take part in the 3rd Annual Purple Heart Open can register as an individual golfer or a member of a team of up to four players. The $150 registration fee includes entrance to the tournament and other activities. Prizes will be awarded to the tournament winners. All attendees will receive special goody bags containing various items.

Companies and individuals looking to make a bigger impact can also support the Purple Heart Open by becoming an event sponsor. Sponsorship packages range from $2,000 to $50,000. In exchange for the support, each sponsor receives various benefits. These include advertising on tournament signage, emails, and social media posts.

Other ways to get involved with the 2019 Purple Heart Open include making a donation to the event’s auction. Those who donate auction items will receive signage at the auction table as well as a special shout-out on the Purple Heart Foundation’s social media feeds, which reach more than 400,000 followers. Foundation supporters can also make a direct financial donation through the organization’s website.

 

What Does the Open Support?

With the money raised through registration fees, sponsorship packages, and auction sales, the Purple Heart Open supports various initiatives benefitting the nation’s military families. The main beneficiary is MOPH’s National Service Officer Program. This program helps military veterans and their dependents, widows, and orphans navigate the claims process to receive government benefits and services. Each year, the program helps more than 18,000 veterans and military family members obtain VA medical benefits worth tens of millions of dollars.

In addition to medical benefits, the MOPH National Service Officer Program assists with veterans’ claims in the areas of education, job training, employment, and housing. Those who have had their claims denied by the VA can also turn to the program for help with the appeals process. Other facets of the initiative include national outreach activities that raise awareness of veteran benefits and entitlements among rural and urban veteran populations.

In the past, a portion of the funds raised during the Purple Heart Open has also supported other MOPH and Purple Heart Foundation programs. This includes the Foundation’s scholarships and its work in the areas of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries.

More information about the Purple Heart Open and opportunities for involvement is available at www.purpleheartfoundation.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.