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.


This Is How Wounded Warrior Project Has Been Assisting Veterans

wounded warrior projectThrough its efforts to empower military veterans and families to live life to the fullest, Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) offers programs and services that reach thousands of people each year. The organization’s programs focus on a variety of areas, including physical health, peer and family support, mental wellness, and career advancement. Since its founding in 2003, the organization has expanded nationally to serve over 111,000 combat veterans and more than 27,000 military family members.

Today, WWP continues to promote healing and increased quality of life among service members dealing with physical injuries, mental challenges, and emotional scars resulting from time spent fighting for their country. The organization achieves these goals through national programs as well as a wide variety of local activities that connect veterans with each other and their communities.

Here are just a few examples of the many ways that WWP has been supporting warriors in cities throughout the country:


Bringing Military Families Together through Art

According to the majority of respondents to WWP’s most recent annual survey, military veterans rely on the support of their families and other veterans to deal with combat-related mental health issues. In South China, Maine, military families had the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company while learning to express their artistic creativity at a fun paint-night activity.

During the February 2018 event, WWP helped veterans create unique, winter-themed paintings under the tutelage of local artists. The event enabled veterans and their families to spend much-needed time together doing a fun activity that produced a memento they can hang on their wall. Like all of WWP’s programs and resources, the Maine paint-night event was offered free of charge.


Empowering Women Who Support Wounded Veterans

veteranIn addition to helping combat veterans directly, WWP works to improve the lives of wounded warriors by equipping their families with the knowledge and skills they need to provide long-term support for their loved one. As part of these efforts, WWP held a special gathering for veterans’ female family members in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, in February 2018.

The weekend retreat featured a tour of WWP headquarters as well as team-building exercises and other bonding activities, including a Wonder Woman-themed movie night. The women at the event also had the opportunity to take part in an educational workshop on essential oils, which they learned how to use to enhance at-home massage-therapy sessions for the veterans in their families. For their own benefit, those who attended the retreat learned that they were not alone in their experiences caring for veterans overcoming combat-related injuries.


Using Nature to Promote Recovery

Earlier in February, injured veterans in Connecticut spent some time outside birdwatching and improving their nature photography skills. During the WWP-sponsored event, professional photographers taught participants how to take great pictures of wildlife and natural landscapes.

To help veterans capture the perfect photo, photographers demonstrated the proper use of cameras and various photography accessories. Participants also learned about photo editing at the event, which took place at the Shepaug Dam Bald Eagle Observation Area, a Southbury destination known for its bald eagle viewing opportunities.


Providing Resources to Jump-Start Creativity

In Colorado, military veterans sharpened their creativity indoors during a writing workshop held in Colorado Springs in late January. Along with helping veterans learn to develop story plots and characters, the workshop encouraged them to share their experiences and explore the ways in which they have overcome challenges inside and outside of the military. As is the case with many of WWP’s activities, the writing workshop was as much about socializing as it was about developing new skills.


Connecting Warriors with Careers in the Civilian Workforce

Throughout the country, veterans dealing with combat-related injuries are benefitting from WWP’s Warriors to Work program, which provides guidance, support, and resources to service members as they transition from the military to civilian careers. The program has helped veterans like Jarrod Tallman, a former marine who recently used WWP career counseling to secure a position with a Dallas-based medical center.

In addition to counseling services, the Warriors to Work program assists veterans with writing a resume, preparing for interviews, and connecting with local employers. The program is open to registered WWP alumni and family support members in all 50 states.

Warriors to Work also provides support for employers looking to make veterans an integral part of their organizations. To participate, employers must register with WWP through the Warriors to Work portal. More information about the program and any of WWP’s recent activities is available at