McHappy Day Highlights the Value of Communities Working Together

Published May 07, 2019 10:26

GrimusTomorrow, May 8th, McDonald's in the Central Okanagan will be working to raise funds to support the work of Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs. For over 10 years McDonald's in the Central Okanagan has chosen the Boys and Girls Clubs as their local charity of choice and has raised over $150,000 to help fund high quality programs and services for the children and youth who need us the most.

This particular year is a special one for Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs who is celebrating 60 years helping the young people in our communities and they want to highlight the importance of working together to ensure that we continue to strengthen our communities and provide a safe, supportive environment where everyone belongs.

Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs vision and mission is that all children and youth discover and achieve their dreams and grow up to be healthy, successful, and active participants in society. By providing a safe, supportive place where children and youth can experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, build positive relationships, and develop confidence and skills for life that can be accomplished.

“Every year over 10,000 children and youth come through our doors. Everyone comes for a different reason but all come because they want to belong. That’s what the Club is all about. When people feel connected and belong to something good, great things happen” says Richelle Leckey, Community Engagement Coordinator for Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs.

Last year Okanagan Boys and Girls Club...
• Provided 229,000 Meals and Snacks
• Offered 115 Youth a safe place to stay overnight
• Cared for over 3638 School Age Children during out of school hours
• Helped children and youth strengthen their life skills through homework clubs and leadership programs
• Taught baseball, tennis, cooking and other fun skills to young people throughout the Okanagan
• Supported parents through our Infant Development and Parenting Programs

The experience at the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs gives every young person the chance to develop skills, knowledge and values that will influence their future in a very positive way.

From the youth who is seeking a safe place to sleep at night and some guidance from a caring adult to a parent who needs care for their infant while they work to meet the necessary needs for their family, Boys and Girls Clubs offer something for everyone.

"I just wanted to send a thank you your way, to all the staff and volunteers. My path was tumultuous but the Boys and Girls club there gave me the safe place and launching pad to get my life back on track. I literally had a backpack and guitar to my name, and you guys provided a safe place to store them. I had no money or job, and yet I was fed well there. You guys even helped me find a job in the community. I blew that chance like many others in those days, but you didn't push me out because of it. I eventually got my act together. I started volunteering with Restorative Justice, as a way to give back for the help you guys gave me. And now I'm a member of the RCMP, and get to help people every day on the 911 lines. I deal with a lot of group home kids and seemingly hopeless situations throughout my duties, and I'm always reminded of those days. Just wanted to pass along that the work you do DOES change lives.
So again, please pass on a big THANK YOU all around!" - Participant

Strong, healthy communities are created and sustained by individuals and organizations collectively helping one another. Through a supportive, caring, understanding and open culture we know all of the children, youth and families who need a hand up, can grow to be positive, contributing people in our society. We know however that this is not something we can do on our own and so McHappy Day, the staff of the local McDonald's, VIPs and the community are the reason we can carry out our mission and vision every day. We can provide a safe place #whereeveryonebelongs!

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