The Great-Future Equation
The Boys and Girls Club of America says the equation for greatness is simple: To be great, a child needs a great education and a great afterschool program.
For more than twenty years, our local Boys and Girls Club of Ukiah has been helping to create great kids! And the Boys and Girls Club needs our help to continue to do so.
Every day between 160 and 180 children participate in the Boys and Girls Club afterschool program. This protects them when they are most vulnerable. Research shows that the most dangerous time—the time when our children and teens are most likely to be the victims of crime—are the hours right after school between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm.
That same research indicates that when those afterschool hours are used well, they can help reverse negative trends like youth dropout rates, obesity and violence. This is where the Ukiah Boys and Girls Club really shines: it fills that crucial afterschool gap, ensuring that children have a wonderful place to learn and grow—all while having fun.
A club membership only costs $50 for the whole year. That includes afterschool supervision, mentoring, and homework assistance during the school year, plus daytime supervision all summer long. Executive Director Liz Elmore says, “We never turn away a child.” If someone cannot afford the membership fee, the club develops a payment plan so no one is left out.
But just because it doesn’t cost much doesn’t mean it isn’t worth much. The club’s staff is committed to providing kids with the great-future equation: 1. Helping kids graduate from high school with a plan for the future, 2. Teaching kids to demonstrate good character and citizenship, and 3. Educating kids about how to live a healthy lifestyle.
Sadly, latchkey kids without productive afterschool activities and healthy afterschool social interactions are missing part of this great-future equation.
The high quality services provided by the Boys and Girls Club cannot be funded by its $50 memberships alone. A great organization like this requires additional funding to pay for operating expenses—that’s why we need your help. While the Boys and Girls Club holds a number of fundraisers like the Crab Feed, Chili Cook-off and Harvest Ride, and solicits many grants, it is really individual donors who fund day-to-day operations.
To help garner this essential support, the Ukiah Daily Journal (UDJ) has teamed up with Retech Systems and the Ukiah Police Department. The UDJ generously sponsors a fund drive each spring, and the first $55,000 donated by community members will be doubled thanks to matching grants: $40,000 from Retech and $15,000 from the Ukiah Police Department’s specifically designated Asset Forfeiture Drug and Gang Prevention Funds.
UDJ Editor KC Meadows has said that, “We do this each year because we believe the Ukiah Boys and Girls Club is critical to the health and well-being of our community’s children.” At the Ukiah Police Department, we couldn’t agree more. That’s why we have committed so many of our drug and gang prevention asset forfeiture dollars to the Boys and Girls Club –because we want to ensure the safety of local kids. I hope you’ll consider contributing, too.
By contributing to the Boys and Girls Club, you contribute to the greater good in Ukiah: you help keep kids safe; you allow them to engage in fun, educational activities; you enable them to work with diverse groups, and you help them develop a vision of life's possibilities that, with commitment and persistence, are attainable.
By contributing you’ll be part of the equation that makes Ukiah’s kids great!
It’s hard to imagine a more deserving organization than the Boys and Girls Club of Ukiah. Donated dollars stay right here in Ukiah and they help make our community a safer place. Please consider donating—every donation counts.
As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have suggestions on how we can improve please feel free to call me. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cell phone and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com.
By: Chris Dewey – Chief of Police