We hope you have enjoyed the first two articles Part 1 and Part 2 about the South Sebastian County Boys and Girls Club of Greenwood. There have been some activities that have been fun for all and there have been some big improvements with more being planned.
Recently, on May 3 they had an end-of-the-year bash in which there were 181 kids grades 3-6 at the facility enjoying themselves. They also do a Father-Daughter dance every year and have “stand-in” Fathers for those whose Father’s are not there. This is another way that the staff and Board members care for children.
The club and the Board have open and available financial reports for anyone interested. The financial donations (private and non-profit) have declined greatly over the years. This is due to a declining economy and people donating less than before for the last 15 years. Payroll is the same as it was 15 years ago. As an expense example, utilities and insurance are almost $70,000 per year. Kenny states that he will sit down with anyone who has questions or concerns.
The club just spent over $20K upgrading buildings and structures. The bathrooms have been remodeled as have the rooms. Parts of the building have been repainted along with many other improvements. Donations by specific individuals were the reason they were able to do the recent improvements.
There are plans for future improvements such as: ball field improvements, two sets of bleachers (on order for $750 each), full kitchen to provide hot meals to children. There are other plans, but these are the top priority.
Over the last 15 years, there have been over $500K in improvements done on the property. Air conditioning in the gymnasium, classrooms were added, library, parking lot concreted, lots of lighting units replaced, upgrades to the activity rooms, etc. There is still a need for some roof work to be budgeted and completed.
In talking more with Kenny, even the individuals that had started the club long ago are astounded at the changes and improvements over the years. Greenwood City does help when they can. United Way does everything they can to help the non-profit organizations in this area, and fortunately this year has not been decreased. Without the United Way’s vital assistance, the South Sebastian County Boys and Girls Club of Greenwood would not be available to the children of this area. The National Boys and Girls Club used to provide quite a bit in donations, but they have also experienced a decline in funding.
Katrina at the Boys and Girls Club can be contacted to volunteer your time and possible resources to provide the necessary improvements. There are needs in every area: labor, materials, donations, etc. Recently, in April, some Greenwood high school students volunteered their time to help with painting the facility. Consider gathering some friends and volunteer yourself.
Volunteering your time and resources is very rewarding … and it’s for the children in this area. There have been improvements, but many more are needed and your assistance is the stepping stone.