Jon shared his story with us last night and we thought it made a great Friday afternoon post. Enjoy and thank you Jon!
My name is Jon and I’m 22 years old, though it was quite some time ago, while in Junior High I had the opportunity to spend some time at the local Boys and Girls Club. It was next to my school which was quite convenient as I often would miss my bus or hear about events being hosted at the club. I spent a lot of time chatting with the staff, organizing fooseball events, and once competed in a Survivor challenge where the last round involved drinking a disgusting concoction of anything they could find in the fridge. Luckily my team won and the prize was great!
Something I realized from the beginning was the patience the staff must have, often students on practicum or volunteers, they dealt with everything from defusing conflict to making sure every child was fed and had a way home. These programs are essential, for some it is an escape from home life, a warm shelter where there is always food at the table and encouraging staff. I didn’t know then, but when I look back, I see how valuable this experience was for me. These clubs give children the opportunity to belong to something, while teaching accountability. If you wanted to eat supper, you would have to help with the dishes or setup. Though I didn’t often stay for dinner, I can’t imagine how many families across the country depend on Clubs like this. It made me a lot more grateful for what I have.
I haven’t visited a club since leaving Junior High, but I know each club across Canada is filled with staff who want to make a difference. They want to make sure every child is loved and fed at the end of the day, and they do what they can with what they have.
I believe it is imperative to the well being of this country that we don’t forget about the hard workers behind closed doors, and we dedicate more funding for National food and education programs like Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters offer with such clubs.
Thank you so much for your time and efforts.by