On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of the Boys & Girls Club of Farmington, we would like to ask you to be the one -- one person who is willing to provide a child with a safe and positive environment every day after school, an environment filled with activities designed to capture their interests, teach skills and build supportive relationships.

Growing up in today?s world isn?t easy for anyone, but for many kids in our community, it is tougher than you might think. The Club has always been a great inspiration to "Aubrey."

He started coming when he was a small, shy boy, just 7 years old. In 2013 he graduated from the American University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in political science and a very bright future.

The Club was an inspiration to him; a safe, warm, welcoming place, where he belonged and could come out of his shell. As the oldest child in a single parent home with a mother who often had to work late to provide for them, he was responsible for the care and feeding of his two younger siblings. The Club was a place where he could just be a kid, know that his siblings were safe and cared for, and have the time and attention that he needed for himself.

He credits the Club with helping him become the person he is today and is thankful that it was there to help his family. Aubrey says, ?I see the Club as a place of opportunity -- the opportunity for children to see how their dreams can become reality. I am so grateful for my experience here."

Aubrey?s story is just an example of how lives are changed ?- even saved at the Boys & Girls Club.

In the 2007 Harris National Alumni Survey:

• 67 percent of Club alumni attribute their ability to avoid difficulty with the law to the influence of Club staff

• 28 percent of alumni report they would have dropped out of high school if not for the Club.

• 35 percent reduction in school absenteeism

• 80 percent reduction in serious discipline problems

As each high school dropout costs the community $292,000 over their lifetime, and incarcerated juveniles cost between $100 and $200 per day, investment at the Club can have large payoffs.

This year, "It Just Takes One -- Community Behind The Kid Campaign," has a fundraising goal of $100,000. It costs us $600 per child per year for our services. Over the last few years, we have seen huge reductions in grant funding from all sources, including the local United Way. As a result, we have had to reduce staff to critical levels and raise fees to make ends meet. Our goal, one kid at a time, is to build staffing back to healthy ratios and to reduce our reliance on declining grant income. We also hope to prevent additional increases in dues and fees so that kids who need our services the most are able to participate.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Club of Farmington, we respectfully request that you consider a gift of significance to the campaign. Your generous financial commitment will help kids like Aubrey develop confidence and hope. And, your dollars stay in your club.

For more information on how you can help, please go to our website at www.bgcfarmington.org. It just takes one person to help make a child?s dreams come true. It just takes you.

 

Don Vaughan is the Campaign Chairman and George Sharpe is the Board Chairman of the Boys & Girls Club of Farmington.