Three o’ Clock to Six o’ Clock
Did you know that the most dangerous time—the time when our children and teens are most likely to be the victim of a crime—are the hours right after school between 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm.
The problem is that in most households, adults work until 6:00 pm Mondays through Fridays, and finding a safe place for our kids after school can be difficult and expensive. This is where the Ukiah Boys and Girls Club comes in; they fill that crucial gap.
Every day, more than 170 schoolchildren participate in the Boys and Girls Club after-school program. Along with keeping our kids safe, the club takes great pride in being a wonderful place for them to learn and grow, all while having fun.
A club membership only costs $50 for the whole year. That includes after-school supervision, mentoring, and homework assistance—plus supervision during the day all summer long.
Executive Director Liz Elmore says, “We never turn away a child.” If someone cannot afford the $50 membership, the club develops a payment plan so no one is left out. But just because it doesn’t cost much doesn’t mean it doesn’t deliver high quality services. The club’s staff is committed to several important goals: 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.
As you might imagine, paying for an operation like would not be possible if these small membership fees were the only source of income, not by a long shot. A top-notch staff and excellent facilities require additional funds.
And that’s where we need your help.
To help collect those additional funds, the Ukiah Daily Journal (UDJ) has teamed up with Retech Systems and the Ukiah Police Department to raise money. The UDJ generously sponsors a Boys and Girls Club Fund Drive, 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.
UDJ editor KC Meadows says, “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.” And here at the Ukiah Police Department, we couldn’t agree more. That’s why we have committed so many of our annual drug and gang prevention asset forfeiture dollars to help fund the Boys and Girls Club.
Today, maintaining a safe after-school program is more important than ever. Liz Elmore says that the Boys and Girls Club budget is being stretched more than it ever has been. She says that the club’s facility rent has continued to rise, but that the club is determined not to raise fees for participants because the program should be accessible to everyone.
KC Meadows said, “Many of these children would be latch-key kids, spending time alone at home—or worse, wandering the streets with nothing to do—if the Boys and Girls Club did not exist. Because being a Boys and Girls Club member is affordable for all children, the club depends on local community contributions to help it keep its doors open.”
I believe in keeping our kids safe and I believe in the Boys and Girls Club.
By contributing to the Boys and Girls Club, you contribute to the greater good: you keep kids safe, allow them to engage in fun, educational activities, work with diverse groups, and develop a vision of life's possibilities that, with commitment and persistence, are attainable.
If you’d like to help our community, it’s hard to imagine a more deserving organization than the Boys and Girls Club of Ukiah. Their work truly makes our community a safer place.
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.