Boys & Girls Club kids start collection fund
Boys and Girls Club members have started a coin jar collection to help the financially strapped organization.
Boys and Girls Club members have started a coin jar collection to help the financially strapped organization.

By Carole Power
The Board of Directors at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Clara Valley got a special reminder Thursday, December 3rd, of just why they work so hard to keep the Club open. Las Piedras site director Maricela Juarez wrote the following in an email that was forwarded to each Board member. “We have set up a coin jar in our club labeled "Every cent makes a difference" to raise funds in order to help keep the Boys & Girls Club open. With the recent events involving the Club, staff and Club members have been brain storming ideas to help keep the doors open... Club members have taken to heart the words "EVERY CENT makes a difference" and have collected every spare penny as a way to contribute to THEIR club. As Club Member Giovanni Vargas “Be Happy and smile, the Club is open!"

What a heartwarming, and at the same time disheartening story. It is heartwarming to learn that the Club’s kids are concerned enough that ‘their’ place was in jeopardy and they want to do what they can to help, and disheartening that these precious young people have to be concerned about the finances of their “Positive Place for Kids.” It is unfortunate that the Club’s situation had to come to these children’s attention, but they rallied and are doing what they can.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Clara Valley provide much needed after-school programming for over 700 children daily. Programs include activities within the five Care Areas: The Arts, Health & Life Skills, Character and Leadership, Career & Education and Sports, Fitness and Recreation. Under these five Core Areas are PowerHour (an educational program promoting good homework and study habits,) StreetSmart (teaching our young people tools for avoiding gang pressures as well as positive social behaviors.) The Clubs also promote positive and healthful physical activity through the Triple Play program, which encourages kids to be the monitor of their own health providing the guidance and tools necessary. These programs are actively practiced in our five Club sites: Santa Paula Clubhouse (Harvard Blvd.,) Las Piedras Clubhouse (at the police storefront on 13th Street in Santa Paula,) the Fillmore Clubhouse (on 1st Street in Fillmore,) the N. Fillmore Clubhouse (on Lemon Way in Fillmore,) and the Rancho Sespe Clubhouse at the Rancho Sespe Apartments. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Clara Valley also provides after-school services to children in the Santa Paula area through six school sites, Barbara Webster Elementary, Thelma Bedell Elementary, Glen City School, McKevett School, Blanchard School and Grace Thille School.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Clara Valley’s annual Holiday Appeal is in the mail, maybe you have already received your letter, please respond as best you can. The Board appeals to you to “Give till it feels good.” The Club and the kids need your help. Donations can be mailed to Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Clara Valley, PO Box 152, Santa Paula, CA 93060-0152 or PO Box 18, Fillmore, CA 93016-0018. Credit card donations can be accepted over the phone by calling the Club at 805-525-7910.