A Safe Place For Keiki To Study And Play
By Natalie Pawluk, clubhouse director, Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii
Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii parent Jennifer always gets a little teary-eyed when she thinks back to why her children joined Spalding Clubhouse.
Her husband had just suffered a work injury and was unable to care for their children because of his immobility. Her children no longer qualified for their elementary school’s afternoon program because one parent stays home. She felt stuck and unsure where to turn, until one of her friends brought her to the club for a tour.
Jennifer couldn’t believe all of the amazing opportunities for her children — they would be safe, finish their homework with the support of professional staff, meet new friends, try different sports and gain leadership skills. More than two years after joining, she doesn’t know where her family would be without the club.
With programs focused on academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles, youths become involved in positive activities instead of merely spending their time loitering throughout the community.
Caring mentors teach children how to make good decisions and stay away from juvenile delinquency, drug use and other negative behaviors. Kids like Suzie and Clein, who have attended the club nearly every day for the last three years, say the club has provided them with a “second home” and place to learn new talents and interests so they can set goals for their future.
Spalding Clubhouse in McCully was established in 1976 and has grown to be one of the strongest youth-serving nonprofits in the community. With 900 members enrolled and more than 200 youths attending daily, Spalding Clubhouse offers engaging programs for youths ages 7-17, promoting the mission to enable all youths to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. The club truly believes that it “takes a village to raise a child,” and we depend on community support through donations and volunteerism to continue to provide high-quality services to youths. To donate online, visit bgch.com, and please select Spalding Clubhouse, or checks can be mailed directly to 1704 Waiola St., Honolulu HI 96826. To learn more about our programs, visit facebook.com/spaldingbgch or call 942-5111.
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