2017 February E-news

You are making a difference!

More than 3,000 kids and teens walk through the doors of our clubs every year. Many come for the first time just for fun; some come because their mom makes them, while others come looking for help with a life that is in disarray. No matter why they come for the first time, with your help, our goal is to make sure that while they are with us they learn the skills and attitudes that will make them responsible, productive and caring adults.

Keshon is one of our teen members. Here is his story in his own words:

Keshon was a contestant in our 2017 Youth of the Year competition.

From the known to the unknown, from Mississippi to South Carolina, my life had changed forever. The change was indescribable but frightening. When I first moved from Mississippi, I was involved in multiple fights and carried a horrible reputation- a reputation that disappointed family and friends, and affected who I was as an individual. However, my Boys & Girls Club became my gateway to change my negative output into a positive one.

In 2012, fighting was only one of the challenges I would have to overcome. That year my mother became severely ill. The challenge of worrying about my mother’s health condition and remaining a student athlete was difficult. However, staff challenged me to make my mom proud and I’m grateful that I was able to lean on the shoulders of my club for love and support. At a time when my mom could no longer assist me in my studies, staff members helped. To this very day, they push me to be the successful young man that we all know that I can be. During football and basketball season, my mom was unable to attend my games, but staff took time out of their busy schedules to show their support. This challenge proved that although you have a blood family which you are born into, you also have a community family that will support you academically, personally, and as a leader.

My Boys & Girls Club has been this “community family” for me for the past 5 years. Attending the club has changed my life in numerous ways that I will cherish forever. I went from being involved in fights too much to becoming a great leader in my club, school, and community. This has been one of my greatest accomplishments, and I will work hard to uphold the standards that my club has set for not only myself but my peers as well.

As a club member, I understand the importance of being active within the club. Although I am active in extracurricular activities at my high school, I take pride in being an avid leader in my club. I serve as a Junior Staff, tutor and mentor to fellow club members. As a leader, staff set high expectations for me and I understand the importance of upholding them. Although I am only 17 years old, club members look up to me as a role model, and I dare not let them down. I always want them to remember me for the great things I accomplished, and not the reputation I once held.

Being challenged by the incredible staff at my Club has turned my life around completely. Thanks to several individuals placed in my life, I have become a great influential leader. My Club should take great pride in seeing me finally grow up to be the young man they always saw me as and the one I will continue to grow into. South Carolina was a place I once saw as evil. However, it became a place I now call home because my club community ensured that I could surpass all obstacles in life. It has truly made me a better person. It makes me proud to hear individuals talking about how much I have changed, and it makes me smile to know that my reputation went from terrible to great.

The Boys & Girls Club has become my home. Honestly, I feel more comfortable going to Club than any other place. I tell myself every day that I am living the dream. This place has kept me happy, comfortable, and at peace with myself. There is a reason why my Boys & Girls Club is the best.

We are deeply grateful to our community for the support we receive. Without you, Keshon’s story would be very different, along with the stories of an untold number of other youth that come into our buildings every day. Thank you for making a difference!

Every text helps!
Smart phoneWant to help Keshon and his Club friends RIGHT NOW? Take out your smart phone, and text KIDS to 27722. Wait for the response, then follow the directions to confirm your gift (depending on who your carrier is). That’s it, in less than 2 minutes. Your $10 donation will appear on your next phone bill, and it will go directly to programs that help our members create their own Great Futures, just like Keshon is doing! THANKS!!
BGCPDA ~ PO Box 93 ~ Florence, SC 29503 ~ 843-662-1142