Did you know that YOU are one of the most powerful agents of change? Being part of an active community means every resident, member, family, neighborhood and individual can shape the future for generations to come. But such power is best used in partnerships. Joining with others, we can share the load, accomplish more and progress even further than before.
In Thurston County, staff at Greene Realty Group are showcasing local groups, charities and non-profits to shed light on their #GRGCommunity. “Thurston County is a large and diverse community covering lots of cities and small towns,” admits Arthur Dalessandro, community manager. “This can be intimidating to someone that wants to get involved. To help, Greene Realty Group is starting an initiative to highlight many of the incredible organizations that the rest of the community can leverage! One by one we can help build this community up!”
To do so, Arthur is crafting blog posts and YouTube showcases that spotlight generous, supportive regional groups. October’s showcase focuses on the vital work done by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County (BGCTC). Look for it to go live mid-month.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of America began in 1860 thanks to three tireless women in Hartford, Connecticut. Over the last 150 years, they’ve grown to “annually serve 4.73 million young people, through membership and community outreach, at 4,645 Clubs throughout the country and BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide.”
Thurston County’s chapter started in the late 1990s. In 2018 alone, 60 staff and 100 volunteers served over 3,000 kids. Eighty percent of members are under the age of 12 and approximately half live in single-parent households and qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches. BGCTC’s mission is simple: To inspire and enable youth to realize their greatness.
Recently, while Arthur was interviewing Chris Woods-the new CEO- a handful of volunteers worked with more than 40 kids in the background. These activities range from games, a homework room and a tech lab. Though Chris Woods is new in his role as CEO, he is fully invested in the history, mission and goals of the BGCTC and is excited to tackle his new position.
“The Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County really relies on and appreciates the support of our local organizations,” says Woods. “We depend on them for financial support and volunteers for our Clubs. Greene Realty has been a long-time supporter of our Clubs; Jim Greene was a board member and many of their employees have contributed to our programs over the years.”
Such participation is crucial. “Community partnerships with organizations like Greene Realty are vital to the success of our Clubs,” he admits. “Without these partnerships we would not have Clubs in Olympia, Lacey, Rochester, Tenino, Tumwater and Yelm. Partnerships with organizations in each of these communities provide the necessary funds, volunteer hours and in-kind donations to help us reach as many youths as we can in Thurston County. We are currently able to serve over 3,000 youth in our county and are constantly looking for partnerships to be able to open our doors to more kids.”
And anyone can get involved to make an impact with BGCTC events or as a regular volunteer. Does your calendar whimper with every new activity? Consider donating goods, services, or by sponsoring a club program, event or team. Every little bit benefits up to 750 students a day in Thurston County alone.
Even though he’s new to the position, Woods receives a warm welcome whenever he’s out and about. “I have had very positive experiences working with local and regional businesses. Everyone wants to help improve the quality of life for children and everyone wants to help provide safe and healthy options for kids outside of school time. We understand each business has its limits and only has so much capacity to support non-profits like the Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County. We feel very fortunate to be in a community where people are willing to do whatever it takes to meet the unique needs of the children. We have benefitted from the generous support of local and regional businesses for almost 20 years and we look forward to partnering for the next 20 years.”
Learn more at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County website or by calling 360-956-0755. Then watch, like and share their #GRGCommunity story on Greene Realty Group’s YouTube and Facebook and Instagram pages. Every little bit shines a light on this amazing, dedicated group. Follow the further adventures of your friends and neighbors in the #GRGcommunity for news, activities and other worthy organizations. Be an agent for change in your little corner of the world.