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Boys & Girls Clubs of SLC granted 100k to support critical functions

Boys & Girls Clubs of SLC

Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County are the recipients of a $100,000 grant through the Morgridge Family Foundation that was secured by the St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners to support critical functions of the county during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing basic needs such as childcare for essential employees.

St. Lucie County has deemed several county branches as essential as our frontline defense in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. These essential employees are putting in extended hours away from home during this unprecedented outbreak. St. Lucie County’s staff partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County to utilize its youth development staff, programming and facilities to provide childcare services for those having to work during this global pandemic.

“This is another amazing example of cooperation, collaboration, and the rapid response and dedication that our employees have to this community,” said Chris Dzadovsky, St. Lucie County Commissioner. “They quickly reacted to provide solutions for those working on the frontlines to make sure their families were safe and secure. Then just a day later, they found a funding solution thanks to the generous support of the Morgridge Family Foundation.”

The grant will be awarded to The Community Foundation of Martin - St. Lucie’s COVID Rapid Response Fund to be granted to Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County to support the operation of the youth development centers. “This grant is a perfect example of how public and private resources can be combined for good,” said Elizabeth Barbella, President & CEO of the Community Foundation Martin - St. Lucie.

"The Boys & Girls Club of St. Lucie County is leading the way in providing free childcare for first responders and essential personnel during this unprecedented time. They are showing communities around the country a shining example of teamwork, resourcefulness, and resilience in the face of a pandemic." said Carrie Morgridge, Chief Disruptor at the Morgridge Family Foundation

Boys & Girls Clubs services are provided to essential employees at no cost through the Morgridge Family foundation grant. The children will be safely engaged with activities in small groups that include academic support, recreation and character building. In addition, the Club is providing over 1,200 meals per day to its families as well as Virtual Club activities and lessons through their web site and social media pages. providing meals to children and families in need.

“Beginning when the public schools and our Clubs closed to help slow the spread of COVID-19, Boys & Girls Club has mobilized to assist the community in several areas. In addition to the Clubs serving children of essential employees we’re distributing 1,200 pre-packaged to go meals every day to children, families and anyone in need, broadcasting our upbeat “Virtual Club” every day for children through the Internet and sharing important resources and information with parents to help them cope with COVID-19 related issues including job loss, lack of food, and mental and physical health issues,” said Melanie Wiles, COO of Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County.

“Right now, Boys & Girls Club is perfectly positioned to make a real impact on people’s lives. We’re the largest youth development organization on the Treasure Coast, we have 25-years of experience, professional staff, five Clubhouses and solid, working relationships with the cities, county and businesses in our community,” said Will Armstead, CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County. “We’re all working together and doing whatever it takes to help kids and families in our community survive this difficult situation,” he added.

In order to keep up these relief efforts we ask the community to participate. The Clubs continue to distribute meals every day through partnerships with the Treasure Coast Food Bank and St. Lucie Public Schools. Approximately 40-50 volunteers are needed every day from 4:00 – 6:00 PM weekdays and 2:00 – 4:00 PM on weekends to help distribute pre-packaged to go meals. All CDC requirements for social distancing and provide gloves and hand sanitizer. If you, or anyone you know, would like to volunteer, they can go to https://bgcslc.rocks/food to choose a day and sign up.

All cash donations are going into our COVID-19 Response Fund unless otherwise designated by the donor. Contributions can be made at http://bgcslc.rocks/covidresponse. Supplies needed for the Clubhouses are hand soap, toilet paper, paper towels, board games, soccer balls, crayons and coloring books, DVDs, snacks, bottled water and other daily essentials.

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