Funds will expand Caswell Avenue location, services, number of children reached
Today, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley announced the “Our Kids, Our Future” campaign, a $14 million fundraising effort that will allow the organization to serve more kids, more often, in a more meaningful way.
“For the past several months, we’ve worked behind the scenes on this fundraising campaign, and we’ve raised $11.1 million,” said Dugan McLaughlin, co-chair of the Our Kids, Our Future campaign. “But to reach our goal of $14 million, we need the help and generosity of everyone in East Tennessee. This is our community, these are our kids, and this is our future – every donation of any amount helps.”
The funds will be used to rebuild and expand the Caswell Avenue location into a central hub for all Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley activities, as well as to enhance services to impact more youth across the community. The new facility will include a pool, gymnasium, teen center, technology center, medical clinic and administrative offices.
With these upgrades and the continued efforts of the organization’s leadership and staff, the number of youth served by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tennessee Valley will increase to 7,500 annually by 2018. Additionally, the Boys & Girls Clubs will invest in technology upgrades at all 19 clubs to ensure members have access to educational tools.
“Kids who attend clubs receive academic tutoring, enriching after-school care, healthy physical activity, leadership development and more,” said Lisa Hurst, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley president and CEO. “Not only do they have a safe place to go once the school bell rings, but they also have a place full of people who believe in their potential and provide whatever extra support and tools they need to succeed.”
In addition, there are many challenges facing today’s youth that Boys & Girls Clubs strives to address. In the organization’s four-county service area, more than 43,000 school-aged children are classified as economically disadvantaged. Only 22 percent of low-income families have access to computers, and 82 percent of the kids served at local clubs live in food-insecure households, meaning they are hungry or at risk of going hungry.
In 2012, 7,728 juvenile offenders were served through Knox County Juvenile Court alone.
“It costs taxpayers $120 per day to incarcerate a juvenile in Knox County, but it costs just $10 a day to send a child to the Boys & Girls Clubs,” McLaughlin said.
“Each child in our community is just one person who cares, just one program, just one donation away from achieving a great future,” Hurst added.
To learn more and to make a donation today, community members can visit OurKidsOurFuture.com. Supporters also are encouraged to share the Boys & Girls Clubs story on social media using #OurKidsOurFuture.