Vice President, Donor Advancement & Marketing
Boys & Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County
To say, 2020 has been difficult would be an understatement for many of us who have had daily routines adjusted, social gatherings canceled, loved ones lost and ‘normal’ occurrences completely changed. As we approach year-end, it seems the turmoil continues to surround us, with worry and concern over the COVID-19 health pandemic, social injustice and the political storm. I think right now it can be hard to feel thankful and grateful amidst so much uncertainty.
Despite the extraordinary challenges in 2020 the Boys & Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County are feeling thankful, grateful and full of hope. While we know that before COVID-19, life was already difficult for many Club kids and their families as they faced obstacles like access to healthy snacks and hot meals, essential items like a toothbrush and socks, a device to participate in school, or a positive adult who would be there no matter what. We also know that BECAUSE OF YOU hundreds of those who need us most were able to rely on the Boys & Girls Clubs to overcome each obstacle. Because you’ve been here for us, we’ve been here for them and for that we are very thankful, grateful and full of hope.
Because of you, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County is appreciative for;
- Never having to completely shut our doors to serving kids. The Club has remained open to provide a critical safety net for those who need us most. The Club transformed programming, adjusted service hours, provided meals, snacks and food boxes, access to Wi-Fi and devices for online learning and created Club on Wheels to take services to kids who could not make it to a Clubhouse.
- Our amazing team of professionals and volunteers who have been here every day doing Whatever It Takes for local kids. Our team is amazing! They have shown incredible compassion and dedication, regardless of their own health and safety concerns, as they worked to find a way to help kids.
- Committed donors devoted to helping Club kids succeed. While overall charitable giving was down 8.3 percent in quarter two, our giving remained strong as donors like you responded to support the Club’s mission of “enabling all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.” As year-end approaches, the reality that rallied supporters to give to COVID-19 relief funds is as true today as it was then.
- Collaborations with health officials, school administrators and faculty, non-profit and business leaders, and Club families have allowed us to respond affectively and reach more kids whose great futures were at risk due to the year’s overwhelming circumstances.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County is thankful, grateful and full of hope because of you, because of an amazing team, because of community support, because of strong partnerships, because we are doing Whatever it takes to meet the growing needs of our kids. Thank you for your commitment to the Boys & Girls Club mission. As we approach year-end we hope our journey together continues and you know that this Thanksgiving and always we are thankful for you.
One of Boys & Girls Clubs of America and our local Club’s biggest strengths is securing, keeping and upgrading corporate partners. According to Giving USA, corporate giving accounts for 5% of charitable giving in America. Many of our corporate partners could truly be deemed legacy partners, having supported the Club for many years and some others are just beginning their relationship. Each and every partnership is different, requires different activations, funds differently and changes from year to year. What is constant is the enormous value corporate philanthropy has in supporting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County.
Throughout the year, we have national business partners that conduct Back2School drives like Michaels Stores and Old Navy, those that conduct Holiday Giving drives like Ross Dress For Less, Taco Bell and Kohls. Then, there are other drives designed to help the Club in offering engaging daily activities like Buffalo Wild Wings and Lowe’s. Although these are national partnerships, our local Club benefits directly from each and every one.
Additionally, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County has terrific local partnerships with businesses dedicated to supporting the Club and our community’s youth. Check out these meaningful campaigns from generous businesses in Yellowstone County.
– Gainan’s Flowers Annual ‘Roses for Kids’ fundraiser in August raises funds the Boys & Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County by offering 1 and 2 dozen bouquets of roses at special prices. With every dozen purchased, a donation will be made to the Club. Jim Gainan shares, “Because it has been a challenging year for everyone, we are offering an additional incentive to send roses to brighten someone’s day while also giving to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County. Gainan’s Flowers will give you an EXTRA six roses for ONLY $5 with every dozen purchased, increasing the donation to the Boys & Girls Clubs.”
– King’s ACE Hardware runs a promotion several times throughout the year called ‘Painting GREAT Futures’ where $1.00 of each gallon of paint sold is gifted to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County.
– Taco John’s runs their ‘Nachos Navidad’ campaign every December and shares a portion of every nacho sale with our local Club.
– Office 360 Solutions is supporting The Club this summer by donating a portion of the sale of each HP product to the Boys & Girls Club.
– Davidson Design and Tiffany Davidson-Blades supports the Club by donating a portion of each sale the month of August.
– Dynamic Design jumped into action shortly after the Coronavirus pandemic sent many to work from home last May. They offered a Montana Strong ball cap for $10.00 and the proceeds went directly to to the Club.
I value each and every one of our partnerships, both nationally and locally. As the African proverb states, “It take a village to raise a child,” and our philanthropic business community understands the experience and interaction our children need to grow in a safe and healthy environment. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County is grateful for the help of so many in serving our local kids daily. Thank you! All the support helps provide a fun, engaging and safe environment for our Club members to experience individual success.
There are so many others that I would like to highlight. I’ll add, ‘to be continued’ to this blog post so we can share more of our Great Happenings with the business community at a later date.
If you are interested in visiting about the details of each of our partnerships, or would like to start a relationship with your local Club please contact Karrie Owen at 406-294-4511 or Kowen@bgcyellowstone.org
To Be Continued…
“The Boys & Girls Club saved my life. It made me who I am today, and gave me a Great Future. I’m a proud member of the Alumni Club. I’m ready to take a stand for the next generation.” – Mona Dixon, 2010 National Youth of the Year
We all have moments that shape us. Parts of our lives that make us who we are. For some, that was their time at the Boys & Girls Clubs.
- Nationally, over half of alumni said the Boys & Girls Club saved their life.
- Nearly 70% of alumni said that the Boys & Girls Club was the ONLY place to go after school.
- 88% said the Club was one of the best things available to kids in their community.
- Over 80% would encourage a young person to join today.
Since 1971, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County has been at the forefront of youth development, serving thousands of children each year across Yellowstone County. Children, who need us most, and who are better able to take control of their lives and envision a bright future because of the daily experience provided by our highly-trained, caring Club professionals.
If you are one of the Club kids who benefited from your Club experience, we want to hear from you!
We are launching the Yellowstone County Alumni & Friends Club, which is a local grass roots organization committed to helping our next generation of Club Members BE GREAT.
Don’t delay, sign up today!
It is simple to enroll, you just need to email your contact information to Missy Lucas at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition to your contact information, which will remain confidential, we would love to hear about your favorite Club memory about; our staff and volunteers or a particular activity or event.
Enroll now, because as we near the Club’s 50th Anniversary in 2021, the Alumni & Friends Club will be a great way to help CELEBRATE our past and build upon your success to help today’s members find their own GREAT FUTURE.
“Everyone faces challenges in life, some bigger than others. But the way I see it, you can either run and hide or you can show up and face them head on. I have decided that I will choose courage over comfort and show up every day to face my challenges. The Club helped me learn that” states Bayleigh, the 2020 Youth of the Year for Boys & Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County.
Bayleigh first walked through the Castle Rock Club doors on August 29, 2011 as a 2nd Grader. Now, a high school sophomore, she walks through the same doors each day as a member of our Jr. Staff team. In the 8 ½ years she has attended the Club we have watched her grow into a strong and capable young lady who is a true role model to young girls at the Club.
During Bayleigh’s Youth of the Year speech she shared “my Club makes me feel safe, worthy, and special. My goal as a junior staff is to show other Club members that they are needed, cared about, and important. Just like the staff members made me feel.” Bayleigh is currently creating a new program at the Club which will focus on helping girls build confidence and find their voice.
Staff and Club members alike can always count on Bayleigh to come to work with a positive attitude and an infectious smile. As Youth of the Year, Bayleigh represents the Boys & Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County and the essence of what the organization hopes for all the youth we serve.
Bayleigh is a stand-out star and is on track to reach every goal she sets for herself. After High School graduation, she hopes to attend Montana State University where she plans to major in social work.