What is the most influential time in a kids’ life? Is it Ages 6-8? Maybe their high school years?  No, it is between 3 and 8 p.m. every day. That’s the time when a kid is most likely to get into drugs, or pick up a gun, or get into trouble. Which is exactly why those are the hours the Boys and Girls Club of Grant County opens our doors and our arms to the 800 plus members daily. When they come in, they are surrounded by people who care, mentors who hold them responsible; adults who make sure these youth continue to grow long after the school bell rings.

We are currently in our 54th year of service to Grant County. During these years we have:

  • Had 2 locations
  • Been funded for 53 years by the United Way
  • Created lasting relationships with wonderful partnerships throughout our community
  • Served over 40,000 youth that have been members, that have let us enter into their lives, allowed us to help heal and fix their conditions so that we can ensure a positive future

Throughout these 54 years, we have been able to keep our cost low so that we never have to turn away a child: $10 a year. Those ten dollars opens up our building, our programs, and our staff to each kid. Ten dollars can make the difference.  Those ten dollars can be the difference in a kid moving onto the next grade. Ten dollars can be the necessary change that keeps the kid out of jail. Ten dollars can be the positive, safe outlet for a kid. What you and I spend on lunch can provide a year worth of programming, meals, and tutoring.

Every day we fill our hallways, classrooms, and gyms with the laughter and smiles of Grant County youth. It’s about turning the steel and cinderblock that is the foundation and building of the Club, and it becoming the haven for these children. The food and the cafeteria turn into what you and I think of as family dinners. These Club kids turn into family with the 3402 S. Meridian Street being their home.

There have been tough times, and I can assure you there will continue to be more, but we make it through. There are days when I’m sitting at my desk, figuring out how to raise more money, how to write better grants, but the minute those first kids walk through the doors, I immediately understand why that nagging headache I have is worth it. I suddenly appreciate those late nights spent at the Club. The kids, their stories, and their unending love are what make the Club, my job, and our service exactly what it is.

To those that drive past the Club, we look like a filled parking lot. To those that know the old Club, they might think we’re a basketball league. To those that have no idea, we are just an organization that helps at-risk youth. But to those that we have affected, we are a lifesaver.

Julie Cline

Chief Professional Officer

Boys and Girls Club of Grant County