Boys & Girls Club of Monroe Giving Back

article posted 01/20/2014
With the holidays just recently ended, the Boys & Girls Club of Monroe County focuses their work on giving year round.

"One of our organization's goals is to "strengthen character and build the leadership skills of our children. We teach our children and young people about the value of giving back, or in the case of many of our kids 'paying it forward' 365 days a year," said Dr. Anthony Tricoli, Club President/CEO.  "We are very proud of the work being led by our Unit Directors and Staff Members, and the work being accomplished by our kids in creating an environment of philanthropy from an early age."

Over this past year alone, the children and youth of the Boys and Girls Club of the Monroe Area have been involved in the following activities: can food drives; writing letters to soldiers overseas; participating in Toys for Tots; visiting the local nursing homes; various community service projects, such as trash pickups and planting flowers; coat drives; and raising funds for local groups.

The Torch Club, a group of club members who are 11 to 13 years old, got together at the beginning of the summer and decided to build a lemonade stand and sell lemonade during various Madisonville Club events. In total, these children raised $120.50.  Once the stand closed at the end of July, the kids got together and decided how to spend their money.  They donated all of it back to the Club, specifically designating all of it to be used to help fund membership fees for a child whose family could not afford to pay the fees. "If this doesn't warm you heart, I don't know what would," said Pam Christensen, unit director of the Madisonville Club Site.

The Torch Club, a Boys & Girls Club of America program, is specifically designed to teach pre-teenage youth skills in four program areas: 1) service to the club and community; 2) education; 3) health and fitness; 4) and social recreation. Some studies show that we are fighting an uphill battle with our youth and the media. Kids have trouble focusing on anyone but themselves when advertisement after advertisement displays a self-centered world. "The Torch Club teaches the value of giving back and the gratification received from helping someone else," said Dr. Tricoli.

Statistics show that only 29 percent of children participate in charitable giving and 53 percent of children won't give as adults because their parents didn't give. The Boys & Girls Club of the Monroe Area uses philanthropy as a teaching tool for tackling the sense of entitlement in youth as well as increasing financial responsibility and commitment to the community. We encourage families to participate with our members because research has shown that children raised in a philanthropic family are 71 percent more likely to give back as adults.