Holiday Service Challenges!

January 12th, 2017 by Laura Smith

dsc06256

The holidays may technically be over, but that doesn't mean the spirit of the holidays has to fade (or the tree has to come down). We're still channeling the holiday cheer here at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County and hope you'll join us!
During the holiday season, each Unit was asked to participate in a Service Challenge as a part of one of our core priority outcomes: Good Character & Leadership. Read on to find out what our Units did for the community this season!
Fort Collins Unit 
This year, the Fort Collins Unit made personalized ornaments for the occupants at The Remington House affiliated with The Jacob Center. The Jacob Center was founded in 1988 by three social workers. The name Jacob is typically associated with healing and also refers to an ancient surveying instrument (Jacob Staff) that helps people get their bearings. The Jacob Center focuses on working with youth, families and the community to inspire positive, long-lasting change. A part of that, the Remington House, services a range of behavioral and emotional issues, including abuse, family relational issues, trauma issues and substance abuse. To help boost spirits, Club Members of the SMART (skills mastery and resistance training) Moves program made ornaments and then educated other Club Members about The Jacob Center and how it correlates with the lessons provided in SMART Moves.
20161221_120259
Loveland Units 
Following along with their summer service challenge (commUNITY), the Loveland Unit collected an assortment of clothes that they donated to Homeless Gear. They are hoping to follow up commUNITY part two by hosting the Loveland Police Department at the Club Unit for another activity.
Wellington Unit 
 This year, the Torch Club (a chartered leadership and service club for boys and girls ages 11 to 13) hosted a coat drive! Club Members were able to donate 50 coats to Zion Lutheran who gave the coats to Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The Torch Club made posters and asked community members to donate coats.
Great work to all our Club Members for their selfless work this holiday season!

Volunteer of the Month: Avrial!

January 5th, 2017 by Laura Smith
volunteer_of_week-01
Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County wouldn't be such a success without our awesome volunteers who help in the Clubs, at events and anything and everything else we can think of. To show appreciation to our volunteers, we introduce a new blog series: Volunteer of the Month. If you're a volunteer with BGCLC and would like to be featured, reach out to Megan, our volunteer coordinator, at volunteer@bgclarimer.org!
img_20161020_160316
(Avrial is pictured in the center)
Avrial (Turner), a music education student at Colorado State University, is currently running a music education program at the Fort Collins Unit! While she has many musical talents, she specializes in piano and singing.
What makes Avrial so unique (in just one way that is), is that Avrial was born deaf. Instead of cochlear implants, Avrial's family opted to utilize music therapy as a means to engage and develop her auditory and speech functions. Growing up, music became an intense passion for Avrial and easily integrated into every aspect of her life.
During her time at the Fort Collins Unit, Avrial works with Club Members to develop musicianship using the Orff Method. This method, developed by German composer Carl Orff, combines music, movement, drama and speech in a way similar to children's play. She hopes to develop music pieces for Members to perform at Club events as well as develop a partnership between Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County and the CSU School of Music.
Post graduation, Avrial hopes to inspire children through music education (in a K-12 setting) and incorporate music therapy into her teachings. She keeps that goal at the forefront of her mind by keeping busy volunteering at the Club and also performing regularly with an accompanist group at events across Fort Collins.
Thank you so much for volunteering with us Avrial and for being such an inspiration to our Club Kids!

5 Reasons to Give at the End of the Year.

December 21st, 2016 by Laura Smith

end-of-year-giving-01

2016 might be quickly (how is it almost New Years Eve?!) coming to an end, but there is still plenty of time to give back and make the future of a youth in Larimer County bright. So while there still might be gifts to buy and stockings to hang, the year isn't over yet. Together, we can  give back before getting from others.

Here are five reasons why end of the year giving will always land you on the nice list.

It makes you feel good.

There's a lot of bad things in this world, but that doesn't mean you have to succumb to it. You know what makes you feel good? Doing good. No matter the amount of money or the length of time, giving to charities helps put a little sunshine and warmth back into the world. And who doesn't like sunshine and warmth? (Especially in these Colorado winters...)

Donating to the BGCLC qualifies for the Colorado Child Care Contribution Tax Credit.

When you make a donation to the BGCLC, you can reduce your taxes through the Colorado Child Care Contribution Credit. This means that in addition to the standard Federal and State Income Tax deductions, the credit provides a 50 percent state tax credit for donations made to the BGCLC. Learn more about the CCCCTC here.

As little as a $10 donation gives one youth a full-year membership to a Club Unit.

$10! That's all it takes to give one youth in Larimer County a full-year of programs, hours of fun and a safe environment to grow in. While $10 might not seem like much, it supplies 365 days of having somewhere to call home.

You'll be a leader/motivator for others.

Have kids or a partner who looks up to you? Be their #givingback leader this holiday season. Make like Rudolph and lead that sleigh of holiday cheer.

Volunteering counts as #givingback if you can't give money.

Aren't able to part with funds this year? Totally OK! Grab some friends and volunteer for a few hours this holiday season...the more the merrier we always say. #timeismoneytoo

 

Meet the Staff: Tammy Chandler!

December 8th, 2016 by Laura Smith

Known most for her dedication (maybe addiction?) to THE BUDGET and color coded spreadsheets, Tammy has been with BGCLC for 14 years! She is not only our organization's Finance Director, she is also an educator/mentor in the Clubs implementing Money Matters when she can. We want to recognize and thank Tammy for all she has done for BGCLC! Read below to learn more!

tammy

What is your favorite food?

My favorite food is hands down Mexican! I believe it's a group in the food pyramid.

What is your ideal vacation?

Ideal vacation would be traveling with my family to any place I haven't been to yet.  A long trip to include Australia, New Zealand, Russia & Spain.

If you were trapped on a deserted island, what three things would you bring?

A saw to make a shelter, a ship to shore radio so someone could come get me, and to keep wild animals away The Rock Johnson... on second thought I don't need that radio  Ha!

What is a unique talent that you have?

I can organize anything into a color coded spreadsheet  ;0)

What do you enjoy most about working at the Boys & Girls Club?

Everything!  I've been with the organization since 1991.  I enjoy my work, the people throughout the organization I work with, and playing with the kids every week.  And I"m very excited to be part of the Big Campaign to open more clubs!!!

Volunteers of the month: Sam & Alex Gray!

December 1st, 2016 by Laura Smith

volunteer_of_week-01

Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County wouldn't be such a success without our awesome volunteers who help in the Clubs, at events and anything and everything else we can think of. Which is why we couldn't be happier to introduce a new blog series: Volunteer of the Month. If you're a volunteer with BGCLC and would like to be featured, reach out to Megan, our volunteer coordinator at volunteer@bgclarimer.org!

Meet Sam & Alex Gray, volunteer gurus! 

gray-sisters-1

Sam and Alex Gray have been volunteering at the Loveland-Pulliam Boys & Girls Club for the past three months. During their time at the Club, they've started a knitting club and brought several fun activities to the arts room. They are both OJP mentors for our Club Members.

We really appreciate Sam and Alex's dedication to the Club as well as the art room as we searched for a new Arts Program Specialist!

5 Things BGCLC is Thankful For

November 24th, 2016 by Laura Smith

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks and here at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County, we are thankful everyday to be able to do what we do. It takes a lot of things to make sure youth receive a great future, and luckily, we've found those key ingredients. This year, we're thankful for these five things:

3034-16-prethanksgiving-family-socialposts-4

Safe club environments for the youth of Larimer County!

Our Club locations are supportive environments that provide help, care and fun opportunities for youth. We strive to make Clubs locations that youth can be themselves, find their passions and help prepare them for great futures.

A GREAT team of staff

img_9051

Not to sound bias or anything...but our staff rocks. From Unit Directors to Jr. staff to our event specialist, our staff are all passionate, caring, dedicated individuals who work hard in order for the Clubs, youth and programs to succeed. We wouldn't be expanding and progressing if it wasn't for a whole team of awesome people.

Awesome community partners

img_2815

We wouldn't be able to do half of the rad programs we do if it wasn't for generous community partners who are willingly and able to help teach programs, volunteer their time or take our club youth on field trips.

Supportive sponsors and donors

boy-girls-club-tour-9-23-16-308

Anyone who has worked at a nonprofit knows that funding is key. We are beyond thankful for our sponsors of events who give their time, energy and funds to make the days possible. We're allowed to grow because of continued support from donors and sponsors!

Volunteers, volunteers, volunteers

img_20160804_113147

Without volunteers we wouldn't be able to do half the things we do! From helping out at clubs and events to helping complete tasks at Program Support, all of our volunteers mean the world to us and we are so, so thankful for their giving and kind hearts.

What are you thankful for this year?

9 things you didn't know about Kristi's Wish

November 17th, 2016 by Laura Smith

Lately you've probably seen us advertising Kristi's Wish on social media. Stars? $1? What is this? Don't worry, we've got all the answers!

Kristi's Wish is a fundraising campaign that runs from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15

You can participate and donate at any Shrader's County Stores in Larimer County

The cost to participate is only $1. That's right, $1.

Kristi's Wish is a part of the Kristi Visocky Memorial Fund (Kristi's Fund) that was created in memory of Kristi Visocky, who was killed in an auto accident in 05/03.

Determined to keep the compassion of Kristi alive, this fund was set up to provide scholarships and assistance to area young women as well as support community organizations.

Kristi's Fund is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is family-ran and completely volunteer supported and staffed.

Last year, Kristi's Wish raised over $100,000

Since 2003, the Foundation has awarded $180,000 in scholarships to 90 area young women and over $350,000 in support of area organizations.

Kristi's Wish has helped support the mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County which is to serve youth and give them the tools needed for Great Futures.

Water Day3

 

This campaign (Kristi's Wish) is just one of the fundraising events Kristi's Fund participates in. They also hold The Kristi Visocky Memorial Golf Tournament and Big Night Out events annually.

For additional information on Kristi's Wish and Kristi's Fund, visit their website.

Volunteer of the Month: Alumni Elyse

November 10th, 2016 by Laura Smith

volunteer_of_week-01

Technically, the cut-off for Club kids is 18, but that doesn't mean that the fun stops there. The BGCLC Alumni Service Group is a piece of us that we are proud/thankful to exist. The founder of that group, Elyse, sat down with us last week to talk about why she reconnected with other alumni and her plans for the future. Thanks for #givingback Elyse!

elyse-bgclc-alumni

Can you tell us a little about your experience with BGCLC? When did you start coming to the Club?

I started attending at age 14 with my younger sibling. To be honest, initially, I didn't want to go, but quickly connected with other BGCLC teens that led to meaningful, long-lasting relationships. I really enjoyed the sports aspect and also Power Hour. After nine months as a member, I was asked by staff to become a Junior Staff...where I served until I was 18.

What have you been up to since leaving the Club? 

After graduating High School, I attended a private Christian School for a short time before acquiring a full-time job, where I focused on becoming self-sufficient. Shortly after, I started school again, this time pursuing my Associate's Degree from AIMS Community College. Now, I'm still in school, studying Human Development and Family Studies at CSU.

What are your plans for the future?

I hope to one day work for a non-profit that champions vulnerable populations like youth and veterans.

What made you want to reconnect with fellow Club Members? 

While studying at CSU, I realized how important social relationships are and decided to reconnect with my BGCLC family.

Why does it matter to stay involved?

After talking with Kathi (Executive Director BGCLC) about forming a BGCLC Alumni Club, I had the idea of starting a BGCLC Alumni Service Club so that I could reconnect with fellow BGCLC members while also giving back to the organization.

What has been your experience reconnecting?

It's been wonderful reconnecting, but hard to organize social action projects with everyone's busy schedules. It's slow going, but a worthwhile project that I hope to develop and grow over time.

If you're a BGCLC Alum and interested in joining the group, find them on Facebook!

 

BGCLC Visits Lucky Three Ranch

November 3rd, 2016 by Laura Smith

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County LOVE field trips. But then again, who doesn't?! A few weeks back Club Kids got to get outside and visit Lucky Three Ranch located near Loveland.

Lucky Three Ranch is ran by Meredith Hodges, an animal advocate and horse/mule trainer. Hodges, daughter of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, has spent many years developing Lucky Three Ranch as a haven for the promotion and preservation of mules and donkeys while also serving as a center of education for the public.

boy-girls-club-tour-9-23-16-134

As a longtime supporter of the BGCLC, Hodges was generous enough to spend an afternoon with Club Kids. And, it's safe to say they had a blast.

boy-girls-club-tour-9-23-16-538

Youth were able to learn about the inner workings of a mule ranch while also getting the chance to spend some time in the great outdoors. As a part of the ranch, there are many sculptures on the grounds, which youth thoroughly enjoyed. Youth even got to climb on them!

boy-girls-club-tour-9-23-16-324

As well as exploring the grounds and meeting the different mules, youth really enjoyed meeting Jasper the mule and seeing his bunkhouse.

boy-girls-club-tour-9-23-16-308

After an afternoon of exploring, laughing and learning all things ranch life, the Club Kids bid farewell...but not after saying, "when do we get to come again?"

boy-girls-club-tour-9-23-16-486

Thanks for supporting us Meredith, we can't wait to hang out again!

Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County Awarded Grant by Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation

November 3rd, 2016 by Jenna Riedi

Grant provides $10,000 of funding for Triple Play healthy lifestyles program!

Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County received a new grant to improve the health and well-being of Larimer County youth, thanks to Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation. The Club provides kids and teens with critical programming during out-of-school time that creates a positive environment and supports a healthy, active lifestyle. This grant is one of over 100 distributed across the county by the Anthem Foundation to support Triple Play programming, which focuses on being healthy through the mind, body and soul.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation is issuing a Triple Play grant to the Club to provide programming encouraging healthy eating and physical activities for Club members. As Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s proven health and wellness program, Triple Play is a game plan for the mind, body and soul. Supported by founding sponsor The Coca-Cola Company and co-sponsor, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, the program’s three components encourage Club members to eat healthier (mind), become more physically active (body) and increase their ability to engage in healthy relationships (soul).
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation is committed to improving health and strengthening Larimer County communities. Through its Healthy Generations grant program, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation works to identify the issues most in need of attention and then directs its financial support and volunteer efforts toward improving health in those areas. Promoting youth health and active lifestyles is an ongoing focus of the foundation.
This Triple Play grant is part of a five-year, $10 million commitment from the Anthem Foundation to Boys & Girls Clubs of America to promote healthy lifestyles.