I can write a lot about the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club.
What their financial needs are, what kids come from what schools, and various other statistics, but all that pales in comparison to when you talk to the children and why this is so important.
I stopped by the Club on a Tuesday afternoon before 3:00 p.m. when it’s still a bit quiet. Well, actually it’s never quiet, but by 3:15 p.m. it’s jam packed with so many kids who are waiting to be picked up by friends or family, to head home for the night.
The after school program plays the vital, and central support role for hundreds of elementary school aged children and their families, every week here on the Island.
Before everyone went home, I wanted to spend some one-on-one time with some of the kids to hear their thoughts about the Club.
When Amanda isn’t spending time with her friends at the Club, which is her favorite thing to do, she helps out with the younger kids there. You find kids as young as five years old there, and these little ones love spending time with the bigger kids like Amanda.
She really enjoys helping them with things, like snack, games, and more.
Actually, Amanda wants to return to the Club when she’s in seventh grade to help out with the little ones. She wants to be a “helper.”
A number of kids who age out of the After School Program come back to do that. I think that says a lot about how special this place is for them.
Zach Benoit is eight years old. He’s now in second grade and has been at the Club since kindergarden. He thinks the Club is “pretty cool.”
He’s quite fond of the vending machines because he’s always hungry, and when he’s done refueling, it’s all about gym time. After sitting in school all day, he likes to run around a lot.
Also, he liked the idea of the Games Room getting a renovation — new TV, new ping pong table, carpet, paint and more, with the money we are raising through the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite. We have a large fundraising goal of $12,000 to do all of this work for the kids.
Zach’s cousin Arieanna Leavitt wanted to talk with me too, and who wouldn’t want to chat to this sweet little girl. Arieanna is seven years old and she had a lot to say.
One of her comments struck me the most. She said she liked the food for the kids. I thought that was an interesting comment.
So, I asked Club executive director, Pete Lambos, what role food plays in the program. He said the Club provides free or affordable food for many of the children who show up each day. I was sad to hear of the need but so glad that the Club After School programs help out here too.
Arieanna also likes the gym time with her age group, hanging out with friends, and doing homework at the Club. Her sister Aliyah also had to say hi. These two sweet girls could melt anyone’s heart.
So, stop by the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite and help support the Boys & Girls Club. There isn’t an admission fee, but we hope that you’ll donate to the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club when you visit. As you know, we have a big fundraising goal and the Club is depending on the teddy bears for major help.
The Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club’s After School Program costs parents only $20 a year. Because it’s so affordable and open to all, the Club needs a lot of support. If you’d like to make an online Teddy Bear Suite donation, click here.
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