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Give Where You Live on May 6 is a truly special project for our entire community. As one of the participating agencies, I want to thank Bill Roby and the entire team at the El Dorado Community Foundation for their work at making this all possible.
The Boys & Girls Club will be using 100 percent of our proceeds that we raise on the 6th to fund our summer scholarship fund. Thanks to the support of the community on this day we will be able to ensure that all kids that wish to attend our club this summer will be able to. We serve all types of kids at our club each and every day. The following is Billy’s story and the support this community provides our club allows us to help him and many others like him.
Hold up a full 8 1/2-inch-by-11-inch piece of paper. This paper represents Billy’s self-esteem and self-worth at the start of the day. It is whole and he is ready for his day. Unfortunately, his paper will not stay whole for long.
Billy is awakened by his mom’s most recent boyfriend at 6 a.m., as he stumbles in from a night of drinking. This is boyfriend six in the past year and he has not seen dad in five years. A piece of his paper is ripped away. Mom yells at Billy to wake up and get himself ready for school. Another piece of his paper is ripped away. Billy puts on the same clothes he has worn for the past four days — dirty jeans, ripped shirt and shoes with holes — and his paper loses a little more. He makes his way to the bus and is “greeted” in the usual manner by his classmates, “Hi loser … nice shirt dirt bag … how’s your dad?” and more paper is torn from his sheet.
Billy gets to school and unfortunately things do not improve. School is a constant string of insults and hurts from his classmates.
At the end of school, Billy gets on the shuttle that takes him to his Boys & Girls Club. Immediately, the club shuttle bus driver Wes welcomes him and says how excited he is to see him. “Hi Billy!” Wes is the second person to say hi to him all day. A piece of his paper gets put back together.
Billy gets off the bus and is greeted by Tori at the front desk as he signs into the club. “We have robotics today Billy, your favorite!” Another piece of his paper is put back together. Billy immediately is met by his club buddies, Trey, Mike and Amy, and they dive into the activities of the day. Billy’s paper is taking form again, as another piece is put back in place.
Billy goes through the snack line later that day and hears not one insult, not one cut low — all he hears are his and positives. Nobody talks about Billy’s clothes, or his mom, or his grades. They just talk to Billy. Billy is their friend and he is theirs. He spends the rest of the day bouncing around from program to program and is fully engaged in all that is taking place. Billy is 10 feet tall and his paper is all back together. The club is Billy’s safe haven, his special place, and it is at the club that he is empowered to make it through the day and where he knows that people do care about him.
When you support the club, you are supporting our work in ensuring that Billy and all of the other kids like him have their piece of paper built up every day. You are helping us make dreams come true and helping us ensure that no matter what happens before or after the club, when our kids are at the club they are treated with respect and that they feel good about themselves.
We can and we must always be the light in Billy’s day. We can and we must never take one moment we have for granted and we can and we must ensure we continue to put the pieces of our kids paper back together, day after day, week after week, year after year.
Great futures continue to start here at the Boys & Girls Club thanks to you, El Dorado County. May 6 will be a great day for this community.
Executive Director, Boys & Girls Club El Dorado County Western Slope