The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted so much of daily life. The closure of schools and the sharp rise in unemployment continue to pose significant challenges, particularly for the families and communities who depend on schools and after-school services.
For 160 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has given youth across the nation access to opportunities to help them succeed. However, COVID-19 has caused great uncertainty for many young people: from food insecurity and access to comprehensive education to having a safe and supportive environment.
As part of our ongoing response to COVID-19 and our commitments to building stronger, more resilient communities, the Caterpillar Foundation is proud to support the Boys & Girls Clubs COVID-19 Relief Fund to ensure local Clubs can continue critical COVID-19 response work and ready Clubs on the path to recovery.
With more than 4,700 Clubs servicing 4.7 million youth each year, our donation to the Fund will aim to support the educational capacity for Boys & Girls Clubs of America to serve our children through the expansion of virtual educational opportunities for Clubs nationwide. Additionally, our support will expand additional wraparound services to the local Clubs that serve 40 of our Caterpillar communities.:
Boys & Girls Clubs Virtual Club Enhancement:
As school districts finalize COVID-19 strategies for the fall semester, there is an increase in online and virtual education offerings. Boys & Girls Clubs of America is no different and is committed to supporting Clubs in providing high-quality virtual programming that keeps young people connected to supportive peers and adult role models and engaged in fun, relevant, skill building programs. With the help of the Caterpillar Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has been able to enhance its virtual programming to ensure that despite COVID-19, youth around the country have equitable access to opportunities to learn and grow in a safe online environment.
Local Club COVID-19 Funding – Supporting the Urgent Needs of the 40 Clubs in Caterpillar’s Footprint:
Clubs’ needs are varied. Some are struggling with food insecurity while others are struggling with an ever-widening achievement gap, exacerbated by the current situation since youth have lost valuable educational and out-of-school time learning opportunities, which research suggests can result in lower test scores, grades and even lower graduation rates. Each community is experiencing and responding to this crisis differently and Clubs are in a unique position to meet the specific needs of young people in their communities. The Caterpillar Foundation’s support helps Clubs fulfill some of their most critical needs as it relates to the COVID-19 crisis including:
- Updating and providing virtual programming and learn-from-home opportunities
- Maintaining mission critical staff
- Participating in staff training and development opportunities
- Providing essential services as able (such as caring for children of first responders, distributing food, or distributing other necessary supplies)
Our support will also assist with recovery efforts post-crisis — helping heal youth from the trauma of the pandemic, overcoming academic gaps after months of being away from school, and enabling teens with the tools and resources needed to build essential skills to contribute to the workforce as the economy rebuilds.
To learn more about the Boys & Girls Clubs COVID-19 Relief Fund or to find out how you, too, can get involved, please visit here.