Letter: Outpouring of support has been tremendous
Since the tragic tornados which devastated Gloucester County and other areas on April 16, our Gloucester Boys & Girls Club has opened its doors each weekday at 6:30 a.m., and remained open until 6:30 p.m. Our goal was to help in addressing the challenges faced by middle school students and their families affected by the closing of Page Middle School, including supervision, safety and transportation.
The outpouring of support we have received from the community for these youth and families has been tremendous. Thanks to our partnership with Dr. Kiser and the Gloucester County Public Schools, they immediately set up transportation to ensure youth who need club services in their out-of-school hours are brought safely to and from school to the club.
The Community Foundation (Serving Richmond and Central Virginia), in partnership with the Gloucester Community Foundation, generously awarded a combined grant of $8,400 to support the additional costs incurred by the Boys & Girls Club of Gloucester for four weeks of operations. The Wells Fargo Foundation stepped forward with an additional $10,000 to assist with the expanded hours.
Community businesses quickly looked for ways they could help. John Gordon and his staff at the new Gloucester Chick-fil-A provide a daily breakfast. Jim Wheeler and the staff at McDonald’s of Gloucester, as well as Marvin Crane and Subway, are providing weekly snacks. As one can imagine, they are a big hit with the kids.
We are grateful to all of our partners and everyone who has provided either financial or in-kind support as we reach out to provide a safe place and constructive activities for our children during this challenging time for the Gloucester community. As summer nears, the Gloucester club will continue to be there each weekday. We invite the children and parents of Gloucester to check out the club and all we have to offer—great futures start at the Boys & Girls Clubs.
Steven S. Kast, President/CEO
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula