Changing Lives Through Volunteering
Volunteering. It often begins in high school or college and while it usually serves as a resume boost, volunteering can evolve (if you let it) into a fulfilling pursuit.
At the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Georgia there are multiple ways to volunteer. Tutor at one of our Club locations, help with an after school program, or sign up to serve at one of our many annual events. There’s something for everyone! Our mission, “to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens” is the very reason individuals, organizations, and businesses choose to volunteer with the Boys & Girls Clubs.
Jessica Taylor, an account manager at M&R Marketing said, “I really like how the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Georgia supports youth development and gives them that backbone or peace in their lives that they may not have at home.” Jessica, as well as many other of her fellow coworkers have volunteered with BGCCG. This year, so far, they’ve helped our administrative team by packing bags for our Women’s Leadership Brunch and they had fun taking charge of our photo booth during our Great Ocmulgee River Duck Race.
Reece Freel, also an account manager with M&R Marketing said, “I like the direct impact BGCCG has on children’s lives, introducing them to new activities and new opportunities, and giving them an avenue to explore new experiences.” Reece agrees that not only should you volunteer, but more specifically you should volunteer with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Georgia. “It’s very rewarding, it’s rewarding to help out. You know it’s for a good cause too. So there are two benefits, one for yourself, for your team but also for the community, for the kids.”
Tonya Parker is the Chief Diversity Officer, Dean for Equity and Inclusion and Title 9 Coordinator at Wesleyan College. Tonya serves on our special events committee and volunteered at our Women’s Leadership Brunch earlier this year. However, this was not her first time volunteering with the Boys & Girls Clubs. Before she was in her current role, Tonya used to work for the Girls Scouts, volunteering with After-School Programs was something she frequently did. Back then, she taught our Club girls character building and skill building. Years later she continues to volunteer with us, “What I like about the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Georgia is how they really look at the community and see what the need is and address that. They don’t do programming without purpose so when I think of Boys & Girls Clubs I think of programming on purpose.” One reason people don’t volunteer is because of the lack of time, but Tonya believes that if you have the heart to do something you will find a way to get it done. We agree. Tonya is an advocate for the Boys & Girls Clubs and community service, “The need is there and the passion and purpose that you bring can address a need in our community. So come on board, volunteer, you’ll appreciate it, and you’ll make a huge impact and difference in our community.”
Kevin Lewis is a local Artist in Macon. His relationship with the Boys & Girls Clubs began as a young boy, when his grandparents would take him to the Summer Program in Ohio. Later in life he worked as a Teen Center Director for the Boys & Girls Clubs on base in Germany and after coming back to the States he found the Boys & Girls Clubs again. Kevin is currently teaching 12 of our Club kids the principles of art at the 567 Center for Renewal. From shading to two and three dimensional art, he’ll be teaching them the basics of art through a new eleven week program, Art from the Heart. In the end, our Club kids will complete the program having taken their newfound skills and created their own artistic masterpiece. Kevin is providing our youth with a unique experience, contributing to the very reason he likes the Boys & Girls Clubs, “I love the opportunities they present for youth and how it gives the kids a safe place to grow and experience new things that are outside of the norm of their normal confines of home and school.” Through this program Kevin exemplifies how volunteering can really make an impact in the lives of young people. Kevin says volunteering “is one of the most important and selfless things you can do and should do. I think everyone should volunteer just because it gives you a sense of knowing you are doing something for the community and for wherever you are volunteering for. It fills your heart up.” Much like Jessica, Reece, and Tonya, Kevin believes in the power of volunteering, “Don’t be hesitant to jump in and take it all in. It’s going to be a great experience. You are going to learn something, I guarantee that, and you’re going to learn it from the children.”
If you are interested in volunteering with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Georgia, email Chief Operating Officer, Joseph Matchett at [email protected] to find the best fit for you in the clubs or DeMarcus Beckham at [email protected] to volunteer with events and community engagement.