Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary
Our Story Why We Exist
Every single kid needs courage to step out and overcome their fears...
At 15 years old, Jo dropped out of high school and was heading down a destructive path. She was harming herself in the form of cutting, was dating a drug dealer twice her age, and never went home because her relationship with her mother was strained and dysfunctional. She sank into depression over how hopeless her life was, but somewhere deep inside she realized she wasn’t ready to give up on herself.
Jo searched for hope and found Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary’s Hera program for girls experiencing or at risk of sexual exploitation. She explains, "I signed up with the intention of being able to finish school, but ended up getting so much more. Before Hera, I never felt safe enough to admit when I wasn’t okay. I buried my pain to try and protect myself. At Hera, I decided I wanted to be a strong, nurturing person who does good in the world."
Hera’s holistic approach to wellness taught Jo how to take care of herself, give back to her community, and make positive life choices. Thanks to Hera, Jo was also introduced to Haven’s Way, BGCC’s youth housing program for young women, where she was embraced as part of the Haven’s Way family. "I made friends, I learned to cry, laugh, love and trust. I am so grateful for what I have, and I owe so much of that gratitude to Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary. I hope that everyone can see the value in kids that seem beyond reach or troubled, because there is something there worth saving."
Although Jo has completed high school, is working now, and has moved out of Haven's Way... you can still find her there giving back, spending time with the girls and staff, doing the simple things we sometimes take for granted like carving pumpkins or just hanging out together. To Jo, Haven's Way will always be her home, and leaving when she did was part of her healing process.
"That doesn’t mean the doors are closed for me," says Jo. "It means they can open again for someone else...I will never forget my time there because it was a lifeline when I was drowning in darkness."
...because every single kid counts.
Our Impact What We Do
Every single kid needs hope for what the future holds...
For over 75 years, Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary has carried on a tradition of helping young people to discover, develop and achieve their full potential as adults, citizens and leaders, by engaging them in activities that challenge and enrich their minds, bodies and spirits and nurture their self-esteem. Our safe, caring Club environments and enriching programs have enabled thousands of young Calgarians to play, learn and develop valuable skills for life.
Today, Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary is a leading provider of quality programs to children and youth that support the healthy physical, educational and social development of young people and their families.
- 1,046 community members invested 31, 168 hours of volunteering for our kids
- Avenue 15 Youth Homeless Shelter’s model continues to succeed, with 85% of our youth ending their experience of homelessness.
- 92% of our Home-Start families reported an improved sense of well-being for parents and children, resulting in an overall improved home environment.
- Food and Nutrition at School (FANS) fed over 500, 000 servings of nutritious breakfasts, lunches and snacks to hungry children and youth in every quadrant of Calgary.
- 97% of our youth in Community-Based Care and Supports report they are feeling more hopeful about their future.
- Our 828-HOPE centralized referral service for youth hit record numbers of youth calls, emails and texts, allowing us to provide resources, housing and support to the 547 youth who reached out.
Our Programs How We Do It
Every single kid needs opportunities to pursue their goals and dreams...
It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe. - Robert W. Service
Imagine for a moment, when our children and youth are facing a mountain of challenges before them, what that pebble must feel like? "Pebbles” wear our kids down each day -- they prevent them from living, learning, experiencing, attaching, loving, and growing!
We know that every child faces challenges in life… that’s how they learn, but we don’t want them to be worn down before they’ve even been given a chance… we want them to thrive!
At Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary, we remove the pebbles -- issues like hunger, homelessness, and lack of opportunity, by presenting over 40 programs at countless locations in every quadrant of Calgary meeting with kids and families where they are and where they need us most. In 2014, the collective agency served approximately 20,000 children, youth and families.
Boys and Girls Clubs work for positive change in the Calgary community by improving the lives of vulnerable children, youth and families in five areas:
- Community Clubs & Experiential Learning
- Education and Employment
- Community-Based Care & Supports
- Youth Housing & Shelter
- Aboriginal Initiatives
From our two preschools in low-income communities, to shelter for homeless youth, to vital support programs in the community, our services recognize and respond to the emerging needs of kids and families; particularly those most affected by complex social and economic issues.
Our Requests What You Can Do
Every single kid needs a community to stand beside them...
The size and complexity of Calgary has changed over the years and continues to develop in remarkable and yet many unimaginable ways. The landscape can seem hopeless.
At Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary, we BELIEVE that we have an answer, and that answer is HOPE.
Hope is a safe place to land in the world. Hope is embodied in our caring and passionate staff, donors, community partners and people like YOU who show, lead, tell, and prove to our kids every day that they are worth it, they are valuable, they have a place in this world, we believe in them, it will get better, and — above all else — there is HOPE.
These words are not simply random sentiments. They are connected to real kids, numbers, statistics and examples, which are plentiful, and they all add up to one thing…
WE NEED YOUR INVESTMENT IN OUR KIDS.
With your investment, and with our skilled, caring staff and our ever-growing continuum of services, collectively we can continue to help thousands of vulnerable children and youth by providing them with a shoulder to lean on, a warm bed and a safe place to be. Even more importantly, we provide care, focus, time, skills, support, HOPE…and a viable solution for each and every one of Calgary’s vulnerable children and youth.We are grateful for your committed investment and dedication to every single one of our kids…because every single kid deserves a safe place to land in the world…because every single kid counts.