Hearts Wide Open
Hearts Wide Open
Rising to the Challenge of COVID-19
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida is adapting our service model to the massive challenges leveled by the Coronavirus Pandemic. Our dedicated staff is committed to working day and night to create a new model of service for our 16,000+ Club members, to continue to reach them and their families during this time of dire need.
Join our Club Heroes campaign by contributing to our Mission Relief Fund or our Family Relief Fund.
We now offer virtual programming! Join us daily for fun and educational activities online.
We created a comprehensive list of resources for families and our Osceola County First Responders Program.
Whatever It Takes
What better way to announce this year’s Kiwanis Club of Orlando Foundation Youth of the Year than at the “Blessings Baskets” distribution in Pine Hills. Heartfelt congratulations to the incredibly deserving Jolana Mitchell! Next year, this outstanding young woman will attend Rollins College on a full scholarship! We are so grateful to our community of supporters, especially Gary Kaltbaum, who funded the baskets and Jolana’s favorite dinner of Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken for the families of our Walt Disney World Clubhouse.
Nowhere in Erin Harvey’s job description is picking up day-old sandwiches from WaWa and sourcing peanut butter and jelly. As BGCCF’s Development Officer for Brevard County, Erin typically spends her days raising funds to support Club operations, and planning donor stewardship outreach and events. But now, in addition to these duties, Erin begins her day distributing breakfast and lunch packs at our Temple Terrace Branch in Melbourne, and ends each week coordinating a “drive through” for weekend meal supplies at our Cocoa Branch. “It’s just what I need to be doing right now to serve our children,” said Erin.
Through efforts coordinated under our Family Discretionary Fund, we have been able to provide significant food relief efforts to struggling Club families. Two of our Clubs operate weekly food pantries, and a third Club is a distribution point for public school breakfasts and lunch distributions. Nearly 400 Club families have been identified in our network as having an acute need for weekend food, when school and other “drive through” resources aren’t available. In addition, our Family Discretionary Fund has been tapped to provide for acute cash needs by Club families for COVID-related hardships.
Since April 14, our Blue Door TV show will air on Orange County’s Vision TV, and a new episode will be produced each week. Modeled on the classic public TV show “Zoom,” each episode will feature an inspiring message from a Service Director, healthy lifestyles segment, arts and crafts, music, celebrity guest reader and more!
BGCCF goes virtual! Our Blue Doors are now open to a world of innovative online programming for our Club members and the community at large. Our Cyber Clubhouse, housed right here on BGCCF’s website, opened its doors on March 24, and features new youth- and teen-tracks daily. Youth visitors to the Clubhouse may be escorted on a video field trip of the Cincinnati Zoo or learn to make origami hearts with BGCCF’s own Ms. Cheryl. Teen visitors may enjoy a workout with our own Mr. Nicco or a virtual tour of Rollins College in our “Education & Career” Center.