In 1959, a group of concerned citizens in Kelowna came together to see what they could do to develop a safe place for boys to go after school. The same thing happened in Vernon in the 60’s, and Penticton in the 70’s. What they knew, or quickly discovered, was that the club was a way to help kids, kids who really needed us. By providing a safe place, a place of belonging and positive role models, boys and then girls were developing into responsible young men and women, thanks to their involvement at the club.
Fast forward 55 years, and what we see is that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Why kids come to the club is the same today as it was 55 years ago- the club is a safe place, a place to belong and build positive relationships. That’s the foundation of Boys & Girls Clubs, and it hasn’t changed in the 55 years that we’ve been providing services.
What do we want for our kids? In the end, every parent hopes for the same thing; that their child grows up to be a healthy, happy, successful adult. Sometimes that road is full of challenges, some of which are difficult to imagine.
How do we help children and youth navigate through this? First and foremost, we provide safe, supportive places where children, youth and families can experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, build positive relationships, and develops confidence and skills for life.
We adhere to our core values which focus on belonging, respect, encouragement and support, working together and speaking out.
We focus on our four core programming areas: physical activity, health and safety; leadership, growth and empowerment; learning and career development; and family and communities.
We have a dedicated team of volunteers and board members who are committed to our vision and values. We have a growing number of community partners and businesses who have been incredibly generous with their time, energy, and resources and most importantly, really believe in the work that we are doing in our communities.
We have an extraordinary group of staff members, who work every day with today’s kids. They are a dedicated, passionate and committed staff team, who come to work every day because they love what they do. Whether they’re helping a 2 year old on his first day at daycare, working with the Grade 3 teacher to figure out how we can make a child’s transition from the school to our club program easier, providing a meal to a young person who hasn’t eaten all day, or supporting a family who is having a difficult time, the one thing that we share is a genuine love for what we do.
We invite you to learn more about us. Come visit one of our locations, drop us a line, follow us on social media. We think you’ll be surprised about the extent of our programs and services, and the ways that we reach kids. We have 1,000 children, youth and their families walk through the doors of our 36 club locations every day. Come check us out, we think you’ll find that we’re a “good place to be".
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Diane Entwistle, CEO, Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs
Click here to read the full version of our 2017-18 Annual Report