This Is Why We Do What We Do
“The Club for me was wonderful people, adults who believed in me and helped me believe in myself. For me, the Club was also youth my age who shared in the joys and sorrows of growing up. And the Club was a group of younger kids, who looked up to me as I led them and helped them believe in themselves.
The Club is also a place where new experiences were offered with no strings attached. At the Club, you didn’t have to be the “best” to be part of the “team”. The Club allowed me to see new places, meet new people, and try new experiences, always with the support, encouragement, and safety of those wonderful people.”
As I sit here enjoying a babbling brook behind my home, I am holding my infant son and reflecting on my past, present, and future. So much of who I am was molded at the Club. There, I lived some of my greatest triumphs and life altering challenges.
I consider myself a good man, partly because of the principles acquired from my upbringing, partly for having been associated with such a magical place. It was a place where I belonged, a home away from home, even though it was only a few blocks away from our house. I recall sitting in class, wondering if my ball hockey team would win that night; or whether or not a certain girl would be there. I was always smaller than my peers, but it was at the Club where I grew, in more ways than one.
I probably shared my most intimate and heartfelt conversations and exchanges there, with a wide variety of individuals. I vividly remember scoffing down my supper and running the five blocks in my gym shorts in frigid temperatures to get back to the Club for evening sports and other worthwhile meetings. The Club as a whole taught me to take chances, to be assertive and most importantly, to just do it… just get things done, do my best, and contribute to the attainment of social maturity.
To this day, when an acquaintance asks me about my involvement with the Boys & Girls Club, I pause to smile and reply, “Can you sit awhile?”.
There was a young girl I once knew…she was very alone, living in poverty with an alcoholic mother in a dysfunctional home. She was abused as a child and never believed she was worth anybody’s time. That girl was me…until I was 9.
Then we moved to Parkton and kids told me about the Boys & Girls Club up the street. It brought happiness and fun to my life. I was now worth everybody’s time. I am not sure why they believed in me, but they did. I learned so much when I thought the club was just a fun place to hang out. I developed enough strength and determination to complete my Bachelor of Education. This once sad young girl is now a happily married mother of one. I am certain my life would have taken a different direction if not for the Boys & Girls Club of Moncton. Thank you with all my heart!
Being a member of the Board of Directors today, I now realize how much effort and money it takes behind the scenes to keep the club running. I want to personally thank those who contributed financially to the club when I was a kid… did you know what impact you were having on my life? It’s now my turn to give back financially and help change a life! How about you?
“I became a member of the Moncton Boys and Girls Club after I moved to the community three years ago. I did not know any kids around my house but found courage to visit the Club and become a member. Since then I have increased myself – esteem and have become a major supporter of the activities and programs. The Club is a place where everyone is happy; you can leave your problems at the door and just be yourself. I met a lot of people and have made lasting friendships.
The Club’s leadership programs have helped me become a more confident and stronger individual. I love giving back to the Club that helped me become the person I am today. The staff and members trust me and give me the confidence to continue giving myself every day. They even hired me to work at the club for a summer job with the Reach program. I’m finally realizing what the Club is really all about. The Reach program is a very important program because it helps give kids access to a variety of services which were not available to them in the past. I am so proud to be part of this program once again this summer so I can help those kids the same way I was helped growing up in often difficult times.”
“I cannot say enough great things about the Boys & Girls Club of Moncton, as they have been a phenomenal partner to the Anglophone East School District for a number of years. Through their wonderful Raising the Grade program, they provide amazing support to our students’ learning. Our middle school students also love going to the BGCM for their “Adventure Classroom” and “Sport3” sessions with the Partners for Youth staff and myself, as they feel safe, supported and valued in your space. Not only is the Club a great asset to have in our community, but they are also essential to the overall wellbeing of our youth. Always ready to help, their staff members are a pleasure to work with and have hearts of gold; our students love them! I am never surprised when I hear stories about new skills learned or new friends made at the Club! Thank you for all that you do and for truly believing in the individual success of every child that steps through your doors. The African proverb says “It takes a village to raise a child” and I can sincerely say that our village is a better place for our youth because of you.”
Thank you so much for the happiest time that my daughter spent at the Club. She was so enthusiastic to go there every day! Your team is the best! You are awesome!