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One of the Most Valuable Things I Could Do

Nancy: One of the Most Valuable Things I Could Do

My experience with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago has been one of the most enriching and rewarding in my life. Having taught elementary school in under resourced communities, I knew there had to be an influence outside of the children’s school hours that would...

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Nancy: One of the Most Valuable Things I Could Do

My experience with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago has been one of the most enriching and rewarding in my life. Having taught elementary school in under resourced communities, I knew there had to be an influence outside of the children’s school hours that would give them wider support, which would make the greatest difference in their lives. I didn’t know what that model would be, until I learned about the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago. I was lucky enough to join the Woman’s Board of the Boys & Girls Clubs, serving alongside such wonderful, dedicated women, also passionate about bettering the lives of Chicago’s children from under resourced communities. In so many ways, we get to experience the clubs and involvement with the kids, such as field trips to various places in Chicago as they learn about what their city has to offer. We also fundraise which supports the many wonderful programs at BGCC through our annual festive Summer Ball, something we have such fun planning all year long.

Through the amazing BGCC staff, we learn of the remarkable statistics that show the incredible impact of the Clubs in these children’s lives. But I was most truly amazed when I had the joy of witnessing this firsthand while visiting the Clubs, such as the Pedersen-McCormick Club. There I saw the kids, not only fully engaging in all the Club has to offer, but the kids’ interactions with the Club staff was so heartwarming, as one can tell the true fondness and familiarity between the Club kids and each staff member. I was already aware of the academic support given to the kids, but was encouraged at seeing all of the enriching activities the kids experience, that could plant seeds for their future. Yes, this includes sports, fitness and games, but also activities surrounding such things as cooking, Science experimentation, gardening, fashion design, technology, playing instruments, finance, careers….I could go on and on.

It was when I had the privilege of being a judge of the annual Youth of the Year event that really showed me the depth of the impact on these individuals’ lives. While extensively learning of each nominee’s experiences, over and over their stories told of the BGCC staff mentors that got them through a very difficult time, or helped them learn about who they are, their possibilities, and building their self esteem. Each nominee knew of a direction they wanted to take in life, and that was due to experiences they had at the Club, and the people there that cared for, encouraged and supported them. What was remarkable to me was each nominee’s goal towards leadership within the Club, and their strong desire to be a mentor for the younger club members, to do for others what was done for them. Learning of their vision for what they wanted to achieve as they look toward going out into the world only reinforced for me that my involvement of being a part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago is one of the most valuable things I could do in my life.

David and Nancy: Honoring our Daughter with our Giving

My wife and I, for the last several years, have made charitable donations in honor of our three daughters and families to the charities of their choice. Each daughter picks a charity that is meaningful to them in some way. Our eldest and her husband have chosen the...

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David and Nancy: Honoring our Daughter with our Giving

My wife and I, for the last several years, have made charitable donations in honor of our three daughters and families to the charities of their choice. Each daughter picks a charity that is meaningful to them in some way. Our eldest and her husband have chosen the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago for several years. In her own words, this is why…

“It has been my joy to teach middle school on the South Side of Chicago for the last 14 years. As a teacher, I’ve seen firsthand the painful impact violence, gangs, and other environmental pressures have had on my kids. The time after school is often the most dangerous for kids because that is when many kids do not have a place to hang out or something to do. That is why I am so thankful for organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago. By providing safe spaces and activities for kids after school, lives are not only changed but they are saved. Thank you for doing what you do—your organization is such a blessing and truly makes the world a better place. Thank you!”

– David and Nancy Krunnfusz