Boys & Girls Club partnership wins $15,000 grantTweet
The Boys & Girls Club Mentors student group and the Boys & Girls Club of Binghamton have received a $15,000 grant in the annual Newman’s Own Foundation Campus Community Service Challenge.
The grant was awarded to the University’s Boys & Girls Club Mentors student group for winning second place in a competition against eight other student groups from schools in the America East Conference.
“The grant will help fund education and child-care programs,” said Moshe Roberts, the volunteer coordinator for the Mentors student group.
As part of a non-profit collaboration, the Boys & Girls Club Mentors team won the grant based on a proposal for several community enrichment programs to be implemented with the Boys & Girls Club of Binghamton. The primary mission of the Mentors group is to promote humanitarian values among Binghamton’s youth.
“The group’s goal is to support the Boys & Girls Club of Binghamton,” said Community Engagement Coordinator Kerry Cook from the University’s Center for Civic Engagement, which supports and helps coordinate the efforts of student groups in the campus and community. “The idea is that if you teach the importance of helping others at a young age, then they will realize how rewarding it is, and they will become service-oriented citizens for the rest of their lives.”
This philanthropic ideal is the main philosophy of the Newman’s Own Foundation, which provided funding for the grant.
The grant will fund future community service programs including one program to fund transportation to bring youth to the University’s Nature Preserve where they can learn about the importance of natural habitats.
Another portion of the grant will fund a partnership with Build-A-Bear Workshop to make stuffed animals for pediatric cancer patients at SUNY Upstate Medical University.
“Money will also help purchase new games and crafts, and a way to get kids involved in community service through a community garden,” Cook said. “We want to teach them about philanthropy, sort of like ‘Pay it Forward.’”
The proposal submitted to the Newman’s Own Campus Challenge was chosen from several other proposals submitted by different student groups on campus.
“There was a lower level competition before the Newman’s Challenge,” said Allison Alden, director of the Center for Civic Engagement. “Student groups on campus were asked to submit proposals, then students and faculty reviewed them to pick the best one. The proposal from the Boys & Girls Club Mentors group was chosen.”
This is not the first time the University has won an award from the Newman’s Own Foundation, Cook said. Last year, the student group Colleges Against Cancer won $7,500 for its partnership with the organization A Room to Heal.
Roberts, who started the Boys & Girls Club Mentors student group, played a major role in writing this year’s proposal.
“The program has been really good for the Boys & Girls Club,” he said. “The volunteers make the club services available for many kids who otherwise would not have access to the program.”
The Mentors student group currently has more than 150 volunteers, providing daily tutoring and after-school homework help for students.
“Over 450 students are served,” Cook said, “plus their families really benefit from these services, so the impact the student group has is huge. With the grant we are able to make new things happen within the organization.”
More information about the Boys & Girls Club Mentors student group, and the Center for Civic Engagement, can be found at the Center’s website, cce.binghamton.edu.