2015 December E-News

December 31, 2015
Happy New Year!
According to Yogi Berra, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over,” and right now, we agree. 
This year “ain’t over” just yet. Today is your last chance in 2015 to help Boys & Girls Club members. Earlier this week you might have read our stories about Saleisha and Germaine. Or maybe you remember hearing about Jane (earlier in December) or reading the love letter from a former member (in February).
Every child in our Clubs has a story to tell. Every child has hopes and dreams. YOU can help those dreams come true by giving the Gift of a Great Future. Now. 
Please make your tax-deductible donation TODAY and create GREAT FUTURES for even more Pee Dee youth.
All of us at the Boys & Girls Club thank you for your loyalty and
support in 2015. Please stay in touch in 2016. Happy New Year!

December 28, 2015
Best Gifts Ever!

Do you remember coming home after your first semester away at college? Where did you head FIRST? Your best friend’s house? Home for your mom’s cooking?

These two former Club members recently came back to town. BOTH made the Boys & Girls Club their first stop!

Way “back in the day,” Florence Boys & Girls Club staff first spotted Saleisha on a nearby street, knocking over trash cans as she walked by. They got her into the Club as a member, and helped her focus her attention on doing well in school.

SaLeisha Rigsbee

Here’s Saleisha at her high school graduation in May 2006.

After guiding her to graduate from high school (and seeing her become SC Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year in 2006), they saw Saleisha off to college at Claflin University. Former staff member Ms. Bostick and Neal Zimmerman, our Executive Director, kept in touch with her semester by semester.

Becoming an attorney is one of many goals Saleisha set for herself during her years at the Club. Eventually, in 2012, she moved to Phoenix to attend Arizona Summit Law School. She graduated this past April, and was studying for the bar exam when she came home to Florence early this summer.

Guess where she landed as soon as she got to town- at the Boys & Girls Club, of course! She came to visit “Mr. Z,” one of her two mentors, the people who made sure she made the most of every opportunity that came her way. Even before she went home. Because the Club WAS her home, and she wanted to share her “dream come true” with the people who helped her achieve it. Best. Gift. Ever.

~ ~ ~

Mr. Goings met with teen interns, including Germaine.

Mr. Goings met with teen interns, including Germaine.

Germaine joined Hemingway’s Rick & Susan Goings Boys & Girls Club in his early teens. As a member of the high school basketball team, he participated intensely in Coach Slice’s fitness programs at the Club. He also had the opportunity to learn pre-hiring and on-the-job skills through the Club’s “Job Readiness Training” program. Club Director Andre Dorsey mentored Germaine and kept an eye on him throughout his years of membership.

After graduating last year, Germaine went off to Spartanburg Methodist College early this fall. During his first semester he joined one of the service clubs on campus. Why? “The Boys & Girls Club gave to me,” he explained, “and this is my way of giving back.”

And just a few weeks ago, as Germaine headed home at the end of his first semester at college, where do you think he went? YES- straight to the Boys & Girls Club! He wanted to share his first semester grades with Mr. Dorsey, and check in at his “home away from home.” All before even seeing his family. Best. Gift. Ever.

WHAT does the Boys & Girls Club do? We grow our young people into successful young adults. And HOW do we do it? By helping them develop meaningful relationships with caring adults- like Ms. Bostick, Mr. Z, Mr. Dorsey, and many others.

YOU can help us provide these relationships to hundreds of members across the Pee Dee. Please Give the Gift of a Great Future! Today. Their lives depend on it!

December 1, 2015 – evening

“There is no better exercise for your heart than reaching down
and helping to lift someone up.”   ~Bernard Meltzer

Happy #GivingTuesday!

No Act of Kindness

Please help us kick off a season of caring and giving
by making a #GivingTuesday gift to help kids throughout the Pee Dee.
Simply click the donate button to the right.

We can’t think of a better way
to start the holiday season
than by helping a child succeed!

Your gift today will

  • help a child succeed in school
  • teach a teen leadership and job skills
  • guide a kid to adopt healthy eating and exercise habits
  • and MORE!


December 1, 2015 – morning

Giving Tuesday

Now’s the time to give!

Janey, a former teen Club member, wants to tell you her story:

My time at the Boys & Girls Club was a one-of-a-kind experience in social, mental, and physical growth during my years as a member.

Being a member of the Boys & Girls Club as a young girl helped me to be a leader among my peers. The club was filled with fun and excitement. We participated in programs, took field trips, helped with community service projects and competed in contests. Staff members made sure that we did our homework and that members like me maintained good character and good grades.

BUT… even though I was learning life skills that I’d need to be a productive adult, NOTHING could have prepared me for what I was about to endure. In 2005 my precious sister passed away. I was crushed. I lost my heart and soul. I mourned by secluding myself and no longer openly expressing myself. The Club helped me a little, but it was still tough.

Then, in 2012, I lost my “mother.” My biological mother had given me up when I was only three weeks old, so I had already gone through a big loss. My great aunt took me in as an infant, and raised me like I was her own. She became my rock as well as my “mother,” instilling in me strength and positive values. Losing her, especially so soon after my sister passed, sent me into a deep depression.

Now more than ever, I felt like giving up on life. I stopped attending the Boys & Girls Club for a while. I didn’t talk much. I was DONE- with living, with everything! Another aunt took me in with her own two kids, and she, too, became someone who encouraged me to keep going despite what I’d gone through.

In 2013, I rejoined the Boys & Girls Club, and met a special staff member who helped me regain my strength. She was always there to listen to my problems and help me to figure out the solutions to those problems. She was my support system at the Club, especially when I felt like I didn’t have one at home.

Through programs like Smart Girls, Teen Talk and Keystone Club, and mentoring from several staff members, I started gaining back my self-confidence and leadership skills, and using them in my everyday life. The Club helped me to overcome the trials and tribulations in my life, while also moving me out of my comfort zone to help and be humble to others.

The Club gave me a voice; with that voice I’ve become a better communicator. I became Ms. Hemingway, I sing, I write prose and poetry, and I am planning to attend college- all because of the support system I have through my family and my Boys & Girls Club.

If it weren’t for the Boys & Girls Club, I don’t know what I would have done. I will always have a special place for the Club in my heart.

There are many youth like Janey in our communities. YOUR gift will help ensure that they always have a safe place and caring staff to rely on! Please donate TODAY to help them all have a “home away from home” at the Boys & Girls Club.
BGCPDA ~ PO Box 93 ~ Florence, SC 29503 ~ 843-662-1142