Kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Muncie are learning important tenants about giving and service to community.

This week, we dropped off care packages to the Muncie Mission, a faith-based, not-for-profit agency that brings hope to the poor, needy and homeless in Muncie.

Our kids saw first-hand why helping means so much. They visited the mission, met the director, the residents and the volunteer there. We packed items like deodorant, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes for the men of the Mission.

At least six times a year, kids at the Boys & Girls Club in Muncie put together care packages for organizations like the Mission, pet rescue agencies, and military veterans.

Here’s how it works. At the Club, we celebrate birthdays every month. Uber Boys & Girls Club volunteer Debi Bigler brings ice cream, cake and presents. But even before celebrating themselves, our kids focus their attention on others.

Debi and her husband, Dennis, are a Yorktown family whose sons played in Club basketball leagues as kids. They’re adults now but Debi keeps on giving.

And that’s the lesson we want our kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Muncie to know.

First, they’re learning giving back is not a “season.” It’s a lifestyle. They’re learning that giving year round makes it real for those who do it. They see that need doesn’t stop when a new year starts.

It also makes giving more heartfelt. It exposes our kids to a full spectrum of need but also shows them they have a role, even at their age, to play in providing for others in our community.

The importance of good character and citizenship are hallmarks of what we teach at the Boys & Girls Club. We know that young people who volunteer or engage in service are more likely to graduate from high school and less likely to drop out than their peers who do not serve. Civic engagement is a two-edged sword in both addressing high-school graduation rates and juvenile delinquency. We are working diligently to instill these values at an early age.

And giving year-round encourages others to do the same. We hope our kids will inspire you. I know they inspire me and our staff.

Future birthday celebration projects will support other worthwhile projects as learning opportunities for the kids. To find out more about the Boys & Girls Club and upcoming programs, contact us at or (765) 282-4461.

PHOTO: Club Kid at Muncie Mission by Jordan Kartholl/The Star Press

Micah Maxwell is the Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Muncie, a graduate of Ball State University and a native of Muncie, Indiana. Twitter: @MaxxWellSaid


Million Members, Million Hours of Service

Studies show that young people who engage in service do better in school, maintain positive relationships with adults and avoid risky behaviors. BGCA’s Million Members, Million Hours of Service efforts will help Boys & Girls Clubs increase the number of youth participating in volunteer and service projects to 1 million members each donating at least one hour of service in a single year.

Click here to learn more about this initiative: