The three Boys and Girls Clubs in Delta normally serve more than 150 children and youth per day in programs outside of school, but, with physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, they had to close their facilities in March and have had their service reduced to serving only 43 per day. All the BGC clubs now have waitlists for available spaces, with not only revenues down, but staffing costs increased with higher staff-to-participant ratios for ensuring safety protocols with fewer volunteers to help.
Staff at the three BGC clubs have maintained contact with Club families via email, phone, and text, and started offering virtual programs in April and have provided grocery store gift cards for families who needed extra support.
With $16,000 in emergency funding during the pandemic from the Delta Foundation, BCC in Delta can continue to offer in-person and virtual after-school programming and day camps for kids aged 6-12 through the three local clubs.
The funding for the grant comes from the Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF), to support charities for vulnerable populations, hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn. The emergency community funding is administered across the country by Community Foundations of Canada on behalf of the Government of Canada, along with two other networks, United Way and Red Cross. This Round 2 of funding follows Round 1 of the ECSF campaign completed in July.
Boys and Girls Clubs (BGC) have served BC’s Lower Mainland since 1936. Their mission is to provide a safe, supportive place where children and youth can experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, build positive relationships, and develop confidence and skills for life. They use activities as tools to connect with kids, letting them know that they matter, are accepted, and belong.
The clubs have been places where kids not only can hang out with friends and do the things they want to do, but where they can build positive relationships, develop healthy behaviours, do better at school, and have opportunities to lead through organized sports and physical activity, homework clubs, creative arts and crafts, and cooking/nutrition programs.
BGC also offers a wilderness summer camp (Camp Potlatch), substance use services for youth, youth and family counselling, employment services, early years programs, and parent programs, serving 1,000 children and youth per day, and more than 10,000 with their families per year.