Hal Hansen: Boys & Girls Clubs need your help to serve more children than ever | NevadaAppeal.com

Hal Hansen: Boys & Girls Clubs need your help to serve more children than ever

Hal Hansen

At a time when too many businesses are closing or laying off workers, where they are just surviving and basically doing less with less in an effort to remain in business, my “business” is doing more … with less, of course.

This business is the business of kids, of providing a safe haven for school age youth – a place where they can work on their homework with assistance and guidance. It is a place where they learn computer skills, tennis taught by one of the most innovative coaches in the country, express themselves in the art room, take classes in life skills, and just relax and enjoy being a kid.

In a depressed economy many youths are victims of the stress that their parents or guardians are experiencing. This is exhibited by acting out in school or social settings, by calling out for help by physically hurting themselves, or through drugs or other inappropriate means.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada is bursting at the seams. We are serving 26 percent more kids this year than last. We averaged more than 400 youths a day at our new club in Carson City and our school site in Carson Valley had record numbers as well.

Also a record number of parents and guardians could not afford to pay for the $20 annual membership fee or the summer fee of $25 per child. Many parents moved their children over to the club program because they could not afford other programs. So while we took in more revenue than ever, we also provided more scholarship assistance than ever.

More – that is the operative word. More kids need a place to go and grow. More foundations are saying they cannot support us as there is an increased demand for their support. More staff has been hired to mentor the youth. More individuals and businesses that have been able to support the club in the past are not able to due to the economy. So the only “less” is the funding that we have been able to secure.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada only holds one special event to support our operations. Our 17th annual Kids Auction and World’s Greatest BBQ is next Saturday afternoon, Sept. 11 at the Pony Express Pavilion. If anyone would like to support our efforts to provide generation-changing programs to the youth, please contact the club at 882-8820 to purchase a ticket or even donate an item for the auction.

We have a very generous community and I believe there is no better place to make an investment in our youth … our future. Thank you.

• Hal Hansen is the chief professional officer for Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada.