by Matthew Lemberg
For the last 22 years, our organization has worked diligently to provide high-quality and high-impact programs to the youth of our community. And while the last few months have been difficult for everyone, our organization has risen to the challenge and continued to serve the young people who need us most. Here are some of our highlights from 2020:
- When schools shut down in March, we re-opened our Nap Lawrence Branch as an all-day program for critical healthcare and first responder families.
- In April, we expanded The Lounge’s (our Club for high school students) Facebook Group into a virtual Club using Discord. Over the last nine months, 75 teens have participated in this virtual Club.
- In May, we opened a second all-day program at Len Colla Recreation Center so that we could serve more Club Members.
- In August, we opened our first Club in Maricopa at Santa Cruz Elementary School. And as part of this expansion, we changed our name to Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sun Corridor (we want our name to encompass and include all of the communities that we serve).
- Later in August, we partnered with the Casa Grande Elementary School District to open another all-day Learning Lab to support virtual learning.
- Prior to this pandemic, our organization had never operated more than one all-day program at a time. But for most of the past four months, we have operated three all-day programs (and as I write this in early-January, the Maricopa Unified School District has returned to virtual learning, so we are currently operating four all-day programs). And thanks to our partnerships with our local municipalities, our partner school districts and supporters like you, these programs have been completely FREE to all participants!
- Since March, nearly 500 Club Members have participated in one of our programs.
The last few months have also been difficult for our organization from a fundraising perspective. We’ve postponed our biggest fundraiser twice. Individual giving has been fairly non-existent (and we understand the very legitimate reasons for this decrease). But thanks to the Contributions to Qualifying Charitable Organizations Tax Credit, Arizona taxpayers can receive a dollar-for-dollar credit on their 2020 Arizona State Taxes for donations made to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sun Corridor. In the ad accompanying this article, we try to answer a number of the most common questions we hear related to tax credits (like “What is the difference between a credit and a deduction?” and “Can I claim credits for contributions to the Boys & Girls Club and my kids’ school?). As you can see, this program allows tax payers to have some control on how their tax dollars are spent. To learn more about this opportunity, please talk to your tax preparer. But let me leave you with this question- Would you rather give your money to the State of Arizona or to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sun Corridor? Obviously, we hope that you will take advantage of this opportunity and support our organization. Our organization, and the kids we serve, need your support now more than ever! Because our community has been there for us, we have been there for them! Thank you for being there for us!