Since Spring 2020, BGCWPA’s newest initiative, Club on the Go, has impacted over 2,100 local youth and their families by offering deliveries of basic needs, enrichment kits, resources and the Clubhouse experience at home. As just one of the many COVID relief efforts offered by BGCWPA, Club on the Go provided over 700 cleaning & hygiene kits, 1,000 food pantry boxes, 600 Sarris chocolate eggs, hundreds of STEM and art kits to keep youth engaged while at home and so much more throughout the Spring and Summer months.
The continued need for resources and support into Fall 2020 allowed for Club on the Go to grow and impact even more local youth. COTG stepped up to distribute over 350,000 donated accessories, clothes and shoes from our generous partners at rue21 for back to school needs throughout both Clubhouse and public pop up shop events. Hundreds of families were given the opportunity to shop for new back to school items, free of charge! New communities reached included Larimer, Hill District, East Pittsburgh and 59 others in partnership with School Districts, Housing Authorities, Community Centers, and many more.
Now into the Winter months, BGCWPA continues to support our local communities through Club on the Go’s holiday program, Giving on the Go. Thanks to our partners at PLUS Consulting, Pitt Ohio, Gateway Health, Next Gen Steel, Will Allen Foundation and private donors, Giving on the Go will serve 150 local families with gifts to ensure this holiday season is full of cheer! As one Giving on the Go parent shares, “I don’t know how to thank you for your generosity, for my children and for the overwhelming gestures. It is when I come across kind people like you I know just how lucky I am.”
BGCWPA Clubhouse families were given the opportunity to sign their children up to receive a delivered gift (some by Santa himself!) for the holiday season. As one of our most loyal partners, the Will Allen Foundation sponsored 60 of these youth who will receive $200 each as part of a “pay it forward” event where volunteers will help youth virtually shop for their friends and families to promote giving during the holidays.
To make this holiday season even brighter, our incredible partners at Lowe’s Home Improvement donated 300 pre-lit trees to be distributed on a first come, first serve basis, all of which were distributed within hours! Even the Pittsburgh Steelers stepped up to donate 150 Holiday Huddle boxes through the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania that include food, clothing and shoes! Cummins Inc provided 40 new bicycles for our youth to enjoy, J.D. Byrider committed to our mission through financial support, and lastly, our dedicated partners at the Heyward House took 20 of our teens on a shopping spree at Macy’s to purchase holiday gifts for their friends, families and a few things for themselves as well.
Club on the Go and Giving on the Go would not be possible without the dedication of the BGCWPA staff and our partners. As Janie Messina, Director of Club on the Go, shares, “Club on the Go and Giving on the Go are just two ways BGCWPA has been able to adapt and react to the needs of our members, families and communities during COVID and beyond. Along with our partners, we are committed to providing resources, quality programming and support to those who need us most including those who make up our membership, 75% of which come from single parent households. We are growing in our awareness, our reach and our impact every single day.” Our President & CEO Dr. Lisa Palmieri adds, “the new partnerships we’re forming have allowed us to expand programming and services into communities with partners BGCWPA has never collaborated with in the past, during this season of giving, this is what it’s all about. We are excited to operate our signature programs inside of these partner sites when we can safely do so in the coming New Year.”
In a year full of unknowns and inconsistencies, BGCWPA is proud to be a consistent support system for our Clubhouse families and communities beyond; our evolution as an Agency is ongoing and nimble in the face of the pandemic and we look to engage the community as we begin to build summer programs right after the first of the new year. By serving over 60 new communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, BGCWPA is committed to growing our footprint and demographics, of which we currently serve 68% African American youth, 25% White youth and 7% youth that identify as Other. Join BGCWPA as we continue to do WHATEVER it takes to ensure every child has a GREAT FUTURE