Our community is facing uncertain and unprecedented times. Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania remains the consistent champion and advocate for youth by doing whatever it takes to ensure they have a GREAT FUTURE. Our staff is working tirelessly to support many vulnerable families in our community by preparing and serving food, delivering food pantry boxes, running our InstaClubhouse virtual programming, and assembling and delivering cleaning & hygiene kits to those in need. We’re also delivering art & science kits as well as our “growing hope” initiative which combines science through planting, healthy eating with deliveries of fresh produce and water bottles/pedometers to promote healthy lifestyles. We also just announced our food truck events, where hot meals are served in or near communities which have limited ability to drive to food distribution events and are heavily relying on only shelf-stable meals; every child and family deserves hot meals. We are committed and ready to continue to be a critical resource to the relief and recovery efforts of COVID-19.
BGCWPA serves several thousand youth ages 4-18, making us one of the largest youth services providers and the largest comprehensive programs provider in the after school and summer space in Western Pennsylvania. In addition, we offer youth workforce development programs, sports programs and specialty programs within the daytime at 7 school districts. We also serve over 250,000 meals and snacks every year to youth at no to little cost, because it’s hard to learn and grow when you’re hungry. In the last month alone, we have served over 20,000 meals to the community.
Today I am asking for your support during these trying times. As we have made personal calls to our members and families from each of our traditional stand-alone Clubhouses, we have discovered that close to 90% have identified the need to obtain cleaning & hygiene supplies and food. We are ready and prepared to provide these resources to those in need by delivering these items right to their doorstep with our BGCWPA vans.
Any amount of support helps. Whether through sponsoring a $20 Hygiene Kit or helping to fund a day of Summer Camp for a local youth upon our reopening, your tax deductible donation will go directly to purchasing food, acquiring supplies, paying for staff, and addressing the needs directly related to the emergency at hand.
Today Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania, along with the nation, are facing a time full of uncertainty and fear. At these trying moments, we hope you and your families remain positive and well. “It Is Better to Light One Candle Than Curse the Darkness.” By working together we can and will continue to make a difference in the lives of the several thousand youth we serve and who need us most now more than ever.
Dr. Lisa Abel-Palmieri