Boys and Girls Clubs need your help

By Gerald V. Paul
Sid Frankel

Sid Frankel, associate professor of social work, University of Manitoba, and a former director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, asks Camera readers to “please join us this holiday season by donating today in support of Greater Futures Start Here.
“By doing so you can provide the ultimate gift to a child, empower them to discover and achieve their dreams and grow up to be a healthy, successful and active participant in society.”
Frankel noted that the best way members of the community can invest in children’s futures is by joining the Boys and Girls Clubs organization’s monthly giving club Champions of Dreams. Any amount you select will help kids dream, grow and achieve, he adds.
The goal is to increase public support for programs that promote positive outcomes for kids age six to 18 in key areas like education, active living, nutrition and mental health, areas fundamental to young people’s success and the future success of Canada.
Frankel said, “Every day in my work I see signs of – and the impact of – our changing society.
“More people are struggling financially; unemployment is rising, even amongst young people with a post-secondary education.
“Communities have fewer resources and offer fewer services. There’s greater food insecurity and homelessness. Violence and gang activity continue to grow, especially in large cities.”
Frankel wrote an analysis, Battling Child Poverty; It Takes Political Will and asks “Why does Manitoba have such a high rate of children in care of the child welfare system, the highest rate of infant mortality and a youth crime severity index more than twice the Canadian average? There are a lot of reasons but one of the prime drivers of all of these problems is child poverty.”
Yet among such challenges and despair, there is hope, Frankel says.
“In 650 communities across our country, Boys and Girls Clubs provide positive, life-changing interventions for kids, families and even neighbourhoods.”
Frankel said Boys and Girls Clubs take a preventive approach to a broad range of critical issues such as homework help, mentoring, access to resources like computers and technology training, sports and physical activities.
He noted that Boys and Girls Club programs are developed nationally but delivered locally through programming developed in response to the needs of the local community.
“Simply put, Clubs make a difference in the lives of Canada’s children and young people every day.” Frankel said.
One such testimonial is on Twitter: RT@ChewJore wrote, “The East Scarborough Boys and Girls Club has made a huge difference in the Kingston / Galloway community. That place saved my life.”
To support Boys and Girls Clubs, call 1-844-477-7272.