Once a year, it’s National Boys & Girls Club week and this year that starts this weekend. It’s a great way to put the focus on what Clubs do and to remind everyone why what we do is so important.

The statistics in Muncie are telling:

  • Muncie has the third-highest poverty rate of all cities in Indiana, behind only Gary and East Chicago.
  • More than 40 percent of children live in poverty in southeast Muncie, our Boys & Girls Club neighborhood.
  • It costs almost $500 a year to provide life-impacting services to a child.

One of the statistics we pay close attention to is the average daily attendance.

This indicator tells us a lot about a kid. It tells us whether we’re reaching him, whether he’s engaged, whether the likelihood of success is high or low. We know that if we can get a kid to come to the Club at least twice a week, that we increase the odds of impacting that life into adulthood.

We also know there’s much more to it than numbers and percentages.

Our simple, yet laser-focused mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential, as productive, caring and responsible citizens.

Success at the Boys & Girls Club is realized in three priority areas: academics, health and character. Each day we strive to encourage kids to graduate; inspire kids to lead; and motivate kids to be healthy.

Just in the last few months, we’ve:

  • Graduated a dozen kids from our academic focused Indiana Kids program with 70 percent exceeding standards
  • Served more than 6,300 well-balanced meals and snacks through partnership with Inside Out
  • Launched Passport to Manhood Mentoring Program and Keystone Leadership Program for teens and Club Crew Leadership for 4th and 5th graders

These are the kinds of things that go on every week at the Boys & Girls Club of Muncie. I love that we have a week set aside to celebrate this nationally recognized organization. But I can tell you that day in and day out, week in and week out, staff and board members, and hundreds of volunteers are working to advance the cause.

You can be a part of it. You’re invited to stop by the Club for a guided tour to see first-hand the magic that happens behind the blue door! Find out more about us https://bgcmuncie.org/

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