Boys and Girls Clubs of Springfield continues with COVID 19 relief efforts for community

Published: Apr. 24, 2020 at 6:15 AM CDT
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The need for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Springfield (BGCS) didn’t stop when in-school classes did. However, the clubs had to change the way they helped out.

The Boys and Girls Club of Springfield made it their purpose to ensure the thousands of kids, families, and even staff that they serve were getting basic needs met, during the coronavirus pandemic.

"No one is exempt from the power of COVID 19," said BGCS CEO Brandy Harris. "Everyone is experiencing it and, what's special about what this organization is doing right now, is that it's shifted to really meet the need of people in this community."

Harris said the organization has set up food distribution, a helpline, implemented wellness check-ins, and even virtual programming. While the interaction with the kids is much different than what the clubs typically do, it still aligns with the club's mission.

So far, the organization has distributed more than 21,000 meals in the past month, by curbside drive-thru. Harris said the club has also served more than 500 additional community members. She said meals provide children with proper nutrition while also giving families peace of mind.

Parent, Justin Tamblyn said BCGS has helped his family significantly. He said its resources has filled in the blanks as far as food pantries and what they are getting paid. "My wife's hours got cut back, so it's really good that they're doing this for us."

Harris said, like the Tamblyn family, many others are needing that extra support now. In addition to the food distribution, Harris said they also provided stability and structure. BGCS virtual online programs and resources act as an essential tool to help families and kids. These online tools help prevent learning loss and maintain meaningful relationships during this pandemic. Harris said their 12-hour COVID-19 helpline was also designed to better bridge gaps and support for the community, so parents and children's needs are met.

Harris said the heart of the club has not changed, just the way it beats. While Harris said she doesn't think things will return to "normal" after the pandemic, she said the club is taking its new resources and will use them in the future.

For Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield COVID-19 resources and updates, click