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Make a Difference

One opportunity can make a lasting difference in the life of a child. One dream can give a sense of purpose for a lifetime. One voice can relay wisdom that resonates for generations. One Boys & Girls Club can give hope to an entire community. One person like you can help fulfill the dream of a brighter tomorrow for more children in our community.

At the Boys & Girls Club of Garfield, we serve one purpose: To inspire and enable young people, especially those who need us most to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.

Boys & Girls Club of Garfield is part of a unified nationwide affiliation of more than 5000 Clubs and provides after-school and summer programming to more than 1000 children with an average daily attendance of over 300 members in two different locations. In addition, the Club provided outreach services to more than 1,500 children last year.

Economic statistics are somewhat alarming with 60% of the children in Garfield Public Schools eligible to receive free or reduced lunch. Single parent households are at 14.3% living below the poverty level, 20.3% with related children under 18 years, 25.5 % with children under 5 years of age. The median income for a household was $42,748, compared to $55,146 for the State of New Jersey. The per capita income was $19,530 compared to $30,485 for the State of New Jersey. The Boys & Girls Club of Garfield works hard to meet the needs of its members by keeping fees low. The fees are low because Club members cannot afford to pay high fees for after-school programs. The Club provides these services and fundraises to keep the fees low.

Community Need

The City of Garfield was identified as one of 31 educational and economic "special needs" districts in the state of N.J based on the following criteria:

  • District wide, low socio-economic status.
  • Assignment to the lowest categories on the New Jersey Department of Education's District Factor Groups (DFG) scale.
  • Evidence of substantive failure of thorough and efficient education including failure to achieve what the DOE considers passing levels of performance on the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).
  • A large percentage of disadvantaged, students deemed "at risk" who are in need of "an education beyond the norm."

Studies show that young people particularly those who are at-risk, have a higher probability of getting into trouble between 3 and 6 p.m. whether academically with lack of attention paid to homework and study or socially with juvenile crime, substance abuse, gang violence or inappropriate behaviors in general. This is why after-school programs are so important in Garfield.

Community Response

The Boys & Girls Club of Garfield provides community youth with a fun, safe haven, interesting relevant programs and most importantly club activities that build confidence and self esteem. Every day, staff members at the Boys & Girls Club of Garfield help kids with their homework, re-enforce learning concepts taught at school with fun educationally redeeming programs.

These programs have been shown to be effective. Last year more than 200 members participated in the Club's Power Hour program (homework assistance). Additionally members participated in a literacy mentoring program to improve the reading abilities of our members. In addition, almost all members participated in spelling and math activities as well as computer literacy. These skill building activities increased members proficiency in many subject areas.

Most importantly, local teachers and school administrators whole-heartedly endorse and support the programs being offered at the Club. The Boys & Girls Club of Garfield is providing a significant impact in the areas of Academic Success, Health Living, Character and Citizenship.

How can "One" person make a difference?

Our membership and program fees are low so that all children can have access to our programs. Your financial investment helps us continue to welcome and inspire more and more children who need help each day. Your support helps us be their home away from home. It just takes one person to help make dreams come true. It just takes you.

Concentrating on children who need us most, we provide each child who comes to the Club the tools to make positive choices. But we cannot do this alone. We need the support of caring people and community leaders like you. It just takes one person to make a difference in the life of a child. You can be that person. Your investment enables our caring, dedicated staff to forge strong relationships with young people and influence their ability to succeed in life.

Your dollars support the Boys & Girls club of Garfield. Your dollars help build a brighter tomorrow for our children. Would you please consider making a charitable contribution to our annual campaign to support programs such as the ones we discussed?