This article is written by Boys & Girls Clubs of America CEO Jim Clark
For more than 155 years, Boys & Girls Clubs have provided a safe place for young people to learn and grow, all while having fun. Each year, Boys & Girls Clubs serve nearly 4 million kids and teens through membership and community outreach in more than 4,200 Club facilities throughout the country and on U.S. military installations worldwide.
At Boys & Girls Clubs, we support our young people during the critical out-of-school time with mentorship and programs focused on academic success, character and leadership building, and healthy lifestyles – with the goal of setting each of our members on the path to a great future. To do this, our Clubhouses need to be functional, accessible and safe. Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s national partnership with Lowe’s helps make this possible for Clubs in need around the country.
Since 2009, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has proudly partnered with Lowe’s to provide grants to local Boys & Girls Clubs across the country for improvements and refurbishments. These projects have included upgraded kitchens, working bathroom facilities, enhanced lighting and new spaces for kids and teens.
Lowe’s wants to help local communities love where they live, and at Boys & Girls Clubs, we want our young people to understand the impact of community engagement. Throughout our partnership, both organizations continue to focus on what matters most – making a marked difference in communities across the country. To date, Lowe’s has provided grants to 130 Clubs, ensuring that our young people have a place they find comforting, supportive and fun to visit each and every day.
A recent example of Lowe’s impact includes the generous commitment for Club renovations in New Orleans during Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 110th National Conference this summer. More than 200 Lowe’s Heroes volunteered across four sites in New Orleans during our first Boys & Girls Clubs CARE Day of Service. Joining our local and national Club leaders and volunteers, the Lowe’s Heroes assisted with projects such as groundskeeping, facility refurbishment and painting. At the same time, additional resources and support were given to Clubs in Central Mississippi for similar work in some of the neediest parts of the country.
In 2016, we grew our relationship and expanded our reach with Renovation Across the Nation. Through the program, Lowe’s granted $50,000 in much-needed funding to at least one deserving Club in every state. In all, Lowe’s contributed $3.5 million to ensure Boys & Girls Clubs receive the renovations they need.
At the same time, Boys & Girls Clubs of America is celebrating the Year of the Teen, the first in a three-year strategy to increase teen membership in Boys & Girls Clubs. Through Renovation Across the Nation, Lowe’s is helping us achieve our goal by rehabilitating select teen centers across the country at Clubs with significant teen membership.
For Lowe’s, it’s not just about what they can give, but who can help. Lowe’s support includes critical assistance from its employee base through Lowe’s Heroes. Local employees play a vital role in making improvements and refurbishments at Clubs, while also providing a positive example to our young people of what it means to give back to your local community. On behalf of all Boys & Girls Clubs, I am deeply thankful for the many Lowe’s Heroes who have already committed invaluable hours of work and time to our Clubhouses. Further, I want to acknowledge those employees who count themselves as alumni of Boys & Girls Clubs, or parents of current Club members, who know firsthand the power and promise of our Clubs and work toward providing a positive experience to future generations of Club youth.
For more than a century, Boys & Girls Clubs have enabled all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Thanks to Lowe’s and Lowe’s Heroes, our Club members have shining examples of what responsible citizenship means in their communities. I am – and our Clubs are – incredibly grateful to count Lowe’s as a friend and leader, standing by our side as we work to put our nation’s young people on the path to great futures.