From Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida
With its iconic Blue Doors closed during the COVID-19 crisis, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida (BGCCF) is moving online to continue to serve its 16,000 Club members at home.
Every day, a new schedule of activities is uploaded to BGCCF’s “Cyber Clubhouse” to help home-bound Club members continue to learn, exercise, find inspiration, and engage with the world around them. A typical day might involve a ‘curriculum’ of Zumba Classes for kids, learning to draw with artist Mo Willems, a “home safari” at the Cincinnati Zoo, and an inspirational TED talk by a teen who developed a test for pancreatic cancer. Though the programming reinforces Boys & Girls Clubs’ core values – academic achievement, healthy lifestyles, and good character & citizenship—all Central Florida children, regardless of BGCCF membership, are welcome in the Cyber Clubhouse, which can be found at www.bgccf.org.
“With the temporary closures of our Clubs mandated by the COVID pandemic, we’re finding new ways to reach our members,” said Gary Cain, BGCCF’s President & CEO. “As with most crises that affect our whole community, children from low-income families are the hardest hit. The economic uncertainty in their households is particularly acute at this time. This is just one of the ways we’re working to bring joy to their lives while our Clubs are closed.”
To help combat the income reductions many Club members’ parents are experiencing during the economic downturn, BGCCF has also established a “Family Relief Fund” to help provide a weekly grocery delivery to Clubs for families to pick up, and other emergency expenses. People can contribute to the fund at www.bgccf.org/familyfund.
“We will reopen our Clubs as soon as it is possible to safely do so,” says Cain. “Not only do our children need the positive lessons and adult role models that they’re receiving at our Clubs, but their parents desperately need child care during the non-school hours that we provide at no or very little cost.”
But until then, BGCCF’s Cyber Clubhouse is open for fun and enrichment.