Several weeks ago as I was walking through the Club, I picked up a piece of paper off of the floor. I was stunned by what I found. It was a card one of our Club kids made for a staff member. The note read, “Thanks for being better than my real dad.”
For many of the kids we serve, the Club is their home away from home. It’s family. Countless studies prove over and over that a young person’s chances of success are tied to the quality of the family they grow up in.
Sadly, for many of our Club kids, they come from really bad home environments. When I first met Jamal, a precocious 8-year-old member at our Asbury Park Unit, he struggled to stay focused in school and was oftentimes incapable of regulating his emotions. With his dad in jail and his mom working multiple jobs to make a living wage, he was left to fend for himself. Then he found the Club.
For Jamal, the Club is the place he goes every day after school where he gets help with his homework, he hangs out with his friends, he learns about video production in Y-Media, and he gets a delicious, healthy dinner.
However, if you were to ask Jamal why he loves the Club, he’d tell you it’s because of Aaron, one of our Club counselors. Aaron takes time to check in with Jamal to find out how his day went. He helps him with his homework. He spends time with him. He invests in Jamal’s life. Jamal looks up to Aaron.
Aaron is part of Jamal’s family. You can be too. The only way the Club can be there for Jamal and hundreds of other kids just like him is if you choose to support us.
So please, write a check or make a donation online today and make sure we can continue to provide the support and nurturing care to Jamal and all the other kids in our Club family.
P.S. Consider stopping by sometime to see our family in action for yourself! I’d love nothing more than to show you the smiles on our Club kids’ faces each day when they get off the bus and come through our doors.