Every child deserves a great future. Yet many of our children in Long Beach are in crisis.
Perhaps this is best embodied by the story of BGCLB member and Youth of the Year, Christon Young. Christon became a BGCLB member during a very difficult time in his family’s lives as they faced poverty and homelessness. He was completing his homework under the dome light in his car (his home at the time). Then he found the Boys & Girls Club. Read his story here.
Christon said, “Whenever I felt like I couldn’t make it, I was encouraged by the club, and, when I felt like there was a hole in my heart, the club filled it with love.” After years of participating in - and becoming a student leader at - BGCLB, Christon graduated from high school this year with honors, and will begin at Cal Poly Pomona in the fall.
Why your support is needed:
Long Beach ranks within the top 10 impoverished cities nationwide.
BGCLB serves over 5,500 kids annually. It costs the Club $600 to serve one youth for one year; annual membership is $15 but no one is turned away for inability to pay.
82% of local families are impoverished.
62% of adults in BGCLB’s service area do not have a high school diploma.
Long Beach has one of the highest levels of gang violence in the country, with gang membership at an estimated 6,000 people.
The meals and snacks we serve daily are often the only opportunity for some members to eat something.
Our membership is 96% minority.
Club staff are, in some cases, the most influential and positive adult role models in a members life.
Nearly one-third of all violent crime committed by juvenile offenders occurs during afterschool hours.
As a leading advocate for Long Beach's youth, we are committed to ensuring that every child has access to a safe place after school and during the summer where they can build the knowledge, skills and behaviors to put them on the path to a Great Future.
And we’re making significant progress, as demonstrated by findings in our 2014 Outcomes Report. This measurement study details the achievement of our Club kids and how effectively the Club experience helps to ensure their path to a great future. Here are some promising findings:
97% of our teens expect to complete high school.
74% of our teens expect to go on to post-secondary education.
72% of our teens volunteer in the community at least once per year; 39% volunteer at least once per month.
74% of our members engage in physical activity 5+ days a week.
78% of our members abstained from alcohol, and 99% from cigarettes.
But we need your help. Now more than ever, we need your support to ensure Long Beach's children and teens receive the mentoring and education necessary to reach their full potential.
In 2010, the Boys & Girls Club L.A. County Alliance (comprised of all regional Boys & Girls Clubs affiliates) commissioned Damooei Global Research to quantify the impact of BGCLB’s programs. The results showed that participation in BGCLB programs results in:
1. Improved graduation rates, resulting in a lifetime earnings increase of $185 million among Boys & Girls Club L.A. County Alliance members.
2. Reduced teen pregnancy.
3. Improved parental employment: 78% of parents said the Clubs helped them keep their jobs, resulting in $492.2 million worth of additional earnings.
4. Healthy Lifestyles: 78% of members Clubs activities helped them become more physically fit, leading to healthcare cost savings.
Overall, the study determined every dollar invested in Boys & Girls Clubs in Los Angeles County generated $16.42 in positive economic impacts. In other words, every $1 donated is a $16.42 investment in the Long Beach community.
Our members, like Christon, pay $15 a year to be a member (we never turn youth away if they cannot afford the fee). Membership is important as it reinforces the concept of a Club - and certain behaviors and goals are expected. The true cost of providing the Club experience is about $500 annually.
The Campaign for Kids is to provide the funding of 500 youth or 300 members. Please consider a monthly, quarterly or an annual pledge to create a great future for a member, like Christon, with a donation to our Campaign 4 Kids. Thank you.