By: Jason Newman, CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Muncie—

Three years ago, I moved from Philadelphia, PA to Muncie, IN. I was excited about the opportunity to take on this incredibly big, incredibly important job. The move, while exciting, was also kind of scary. Could I lead a team to help highlight the amazing work that our kids do every day? Was I up to the job? I found out, pretty quickly, that I alone was not, but by working with some amazing leaders in the Muncie, and Delaware County Community, we could do some amazing things.

Along with the many difficulties that we’ve all been facing (and still face) this year, I’ve taken a lot more time to reflect. Those reflections have, in the midst of crisis, brought me a great deal of joy. In addition to the amazing Boys & Girls Clubs of Muncie leaders I get to work with, and the incredibly resilient and hard-working kids I am honored to serve every day. I get to rub elbows with some of the most generous people around. A number that I throw out sometimes, when talking with people, is that Delaware County is number two in per capita generosity. It’s a number that we should all be proud of. It’s a statistic that should be touted as one drives into our city. What brings me joy, today, is that I get to work with the people who make that number true. Those people are you. I moved here for a job, you made it a place to call home.

It’s not just Delaware County that supports our kids. You come from all over the country, to support our kids, every day. You may not have stepped foot in one of our Clubs in the past 40 years, but you have stepped up to be a champion for our kids.

This year has been trying. But I’ve been invigorated by being able to provide a safe space for distance learning, healthy food, social-emotional support for our kids, every day. In a time of uncertainty, we have been able to provide a constant for our kids.

I wish that I could share the joy of seeing our kids smiling eyes when they come to the Clubs. Alas, this picture, and my words will have to make do.

Thank you for keeping our doors open for our kids. Thank you for providing our kids with a reason to be thankful every day.

From our Club family, all of our kids, staff, and Board of Directors, I wish you a truly Happy Thanksgiving.