TALENT, Ore. — In the wake of Boys & Girls Club Week, local non-profit administrators reflect on harder times in the past and are optimistic about the future.
After the economic downturn in 2008, the Boys and Girls Club struggled with community support which eventually forced them to close their White City branch in August. The Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Rogue Valley, Diann Giblertson, says no one was to blame.
“It was due to, you know, the economy at the time. I’m going to be honest, that was probably one of the hardest decisions of my life. Our donations were down, and with no real fault of anybody because we understand that we are supported by the community,” said Gilbertson.
Boys & Girls Club was not the only community funded organization that struggled. Court Appointed Special Advocates or CASA, said it also saw a significant downturn in grants and donations.
“It’s been a slow erosion of all of our funding streams since then, the little bit of money we get from the state,” said CASA Executive Director, Jennifer Mylenek.
But things are beginning to look up.
“Probably in the last 8… 6-8 months, I feel like there’s a shift going on with fundraising,” said Mylenek.
Boys & Girls Club has seen the shift as well, and it is being proactive this time around.
“Our average daily attendance is up greatly in all the clubs. We are seeing over 600 kids in the club every day,” said Gilbertson. “We’re doing a better job telling the communities what we’re doing. And so with that, now the communities are becoming even more engaged into our programs.”
Boys & Girls Club Week will continue with:
– Unique educational games on Monday
– Art contests and a gamesroom tournament on Tuesday
– Community service project with Jackson County Fuel and a city clean-up day on Wednesday
– Southern Oregon University’s Men’s Basketball Team mini-camp on Thursday
– Community Open House celebration with fun activities, artwork judging and a sampling of our Core Programs from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Friday