Boys and Girls Club launches ‘Start the Bus’ fundraiser

Published 8:44 am Monday, December 18, 2017


Yesterday afternoon, I had the privilege of talking with a remarkable woman — a single 31-year-old mother, “Christie,” who has two little daughters, ages 5 and 10.
As this sweet lady told me her story, I was humbled by her determination to make a better life for herself and her children. Her story is one of courage, optimism and resilience.
Christie has worked hard to rise above despair, abuse and homelessness. She has been able to climb out of a desperate situation, and now she has a job, a new degree and a much brighter future — thanks, in no small part, to our local Elizabethton/Carter County Boys and Girls Club.
Christie isn’t shy when it comes to talking about what the Club has meant to her and her two little girls. Without it, she said, she would not have had an affordable place for her children to be while she worked and went to school.
Christie also told me about friends she made at the Club, friends who helped connect her with a local church that helped her get a roof over her head. She became emotional as she told me about the support her daughters received — meals, homework help, friendships, encouragement and love — support that has made all the difference.
As a board member at our local Club, it is a blessing to work with fellow board members and a remarkable staff, all dedicated to the well-being of our community’s children.
It is also a blessing to have the opportunity to talk with families who entrust their children to our Club’s care. Each one has a different story, but what they all have in common is their need for a safe, warm place for their children to be while they work, a place where they know their kids will be fed, encouraged and loved.
You’ve no doubt read about all the wonderful things that are happening at our local Club. It has taken a lot of hard work, but oh my, has it been worth it! It’s hard to imagine that just four years ago, we were only picking up 30 kids after school. This year, more than 500 kids have walked through our doors. And believe me, there are so many more who could use our Club’s help.
As you can imagine, it takes a lot to serve that many children. So, this year, we have launched our Start The Bus campaign. We are hoping to raise $25,000 — the amount it takes to cover all of our gas, our drivers and bus repairs for 2018.
Having dependable transportation to and from the Club makes all the difference for our kids. We use our buses to transport them after school and also throughout the summer for the many outings our children would otherwise never experience without our Club’s help.
Sometimes it is easy to think of these children as someone else’s. But indeed, they are all “our” children. They are our future, here in this beautiful place we call home.
Today we have the opportunity, ability and privilege to share our blessings, whether great or small, with the Boys and Girls Club so families like Christie’s can also be blessed.
This holiday season, as you make plans for your end of year gifts, please think about this young mother and her little girls, as well as the hundreds more like them who will benefit from your generosity. Any gift you can make will be so appreciated and so well-used for our children. Of course, all donations are tax deductible. You may send a check to the Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County (BGCECC) at 104 Hudson Drive, Elizabethton, TN 37643 or make a donation online at BGCECC. org.
Merry Christmas to you all and may the joy and grace of the season be with you and yours.

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