– Jeremy Welder is the CEO of BGC Okanagan.
“Today was the best day,” is a saying quite often heard at BGC Okanagan Clubs and a feeling that children and youth need in their lives now more than ever.
As the charity of choice for the Tree of Hope campaign, along with the YMCA of Southern Interior BC, donations from the community will have double the impact to ensure more “best days” are ahead for the thousands of young people and families that both non-profit organizations serve.
The campaign is over halfway to reaching the fundraising goal of $500,000, which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Stober Foundation. These funds will help us provide barrier-free, innovative, relevant, and responsive programs.
While many may know BGC Okanagan as a provider of childcare, that just scratches the surface of the life-changing programs we provide. We also have recreation, youth and family support programs and services that help all young people discover who they are, what they can do and support them with how they can get there.
This includes ensuring young people have a safe place to come after school, that no child in our care goes hungry, opportunities for families to play together and for youth to learn life skills. BGC Okanagan programs also assist youth that struggle with mental health, homelessness, unemployment, school disengagement, or other barriers to reach their full potential.
BGC Okanagan Clubs never take a single approach when it comes to helping kids succeed.
It takes passionate people, a safe environment, high-quality programs, and unique experiences to ensure kids have a great future.
A recent survey we conducted showed that 85 per cent of young people at BGC Okanagan Clubs reported that they are more confident, 87 per cent said they make better choices in life and 91 per cent said they are more connected to the people they like to spend time with because of the club.
Club participants are not just attending a drop-in to hang out with friends, or receive homework help, they aren’t just attending arts or physical activity recreation programs. It is within these programs that they are also intentionally gaining new experiences, building positive relationships, developing confidence, learning the values of belonging, respect and working together.
We invite you to learn more about us. Come visit one of our locations, drop us a line, visit our website at bgco.ca and follow us on social media. We think you’ll be surprised about the extent of our programs and services. We have over 1,000 children, youth and their families walk through the doors of our 48 service locations every day. This holiday season, consider donating to the Tree of Hope campaign. Every dollar will be matched by the Stober Foundation help support the YMCA of Southern Interior BC and BGC Okanagan. Learn more, or consider donating, at www.treeofhopekelowna.ca.