Supporting Families During Our Time of Challenge

In response to the unprecedented crisis facing our nation, state and communities, BGCDT has launched an innovative platform of services to ensure that we provide positive and enriching activities, nutrition, and other support to our members, their families, and a critical need for healthcare, public safety, and food supply essential workers. As the ongoing situation is fluid and frequently changing, we have adapted our response based on rapidly evolving needs. The following are programs we have developed to support our families and the larger community at this critical time.

Emergency Childcare Centers

Working in collaboration with School Districts 300 and 158, we have opened program sites to care for Children of healthcare, public safety, and food supply essential workers. With our schools closed, and the demand on these key areas of our workforce, we are operating the facilities from 7am to 6pm under protocols issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health for Emergency Childcare Centers. Children are served in groups of ten per classroom, maintaining social distancing in all activities. This ratio and structure require much higher staffing than our typical program, for much longer hours, as well as requiring heightened personal protective measures and sanitation. The costs of service per child to our organization therefore are much higher.

Virtual Clubs (VClubs)

We have opened virtual clubs, called VClubs, for each of our eight program sites/neighborhoods. Our staff creates weekly program schedules for four hours each day that include all six pillars of the BGCA program: 1) character and leadership; 2) education; 3) sports and recreation; 4) the arts; 5) health and wellness and 6) career development. Our VClubs feature daily interactive Zoom live streams with our leaders to check in with our kids, reassure them and lead them in the program’s topics and projects for the day. Integration of the My.Future online platform, which enables earning of achievements and digital badges, as well instructor-led art and STEM projects have been the highlights of this initiative. Our site leaders have shared how important it has been for our kids to connect with them and their friends, as the COVID 19 crisis has made many of them feel isolated and scared.

Grab-n-Go Weekly Kits

Grab-n-Go Weekly Kits: Our program team is assembling grade-stratified bags of supplies for our members that are distributed weekly at the School District’s meal sites at local schools. The first bag contained the Club basics: crayons/colored pencils/markers depending on age, scissors, glue, coloring and/or reading book, deck of cards and instructions for family games, and supplies for the Club’s first STEM project – how to build a bridge with popsicle sticks. Subsequent kits are issued weekly. The VClub program will culminate in a Virtual 500, where our kids will build and decorate race cars from standardized kits, which will be collected and raced during a livestream on May 22nd to determine our winners.

Social & Emotional Support

We have engaged the services of a professional Social Worker and expanded our staff training more deeply into crisis support strategies, as well as weekly group training and support sessions for our program leaders. We are scheduling mentoring sessions with our members through Zoom, with a particular emphasis on middle school and high school members, who we feel are experiencing the greatest sense of isolation and disruption, needing this support the most.

Meal Delivery Program

We are working with several private donors and the Dundee Restaurant District to deliver dinners from local restaurants to households with single moms and recently unemployed parents of our members. The dinners are delivered by our staff and volunteers from the Rotary Club of Carpentersville, Dundee Township, our Board of Directors and our community at large. The program has grown from 100 meals nightly to over 400.

Face Mask Fabrication Program

We have relocated our three sewing machines from the High School Program Impact Center to our Training Room and are running a program for staff members and volunteers to sew fabric masks for our staff and essential workers in accordance with posted best practices.

We Need Your Help!

Due to the uncertainty in our economy, and the likely disruptions and challenges expected for our future fundraising events, we need your help now to continue supporting families who need it the most during this crisis. Know your gift will help provide support for our staff, and for supplies needed, to operate our Emergency Childcare Centers, VClub, Social/Emotional, Mask and Meal Delivery programs. If you are able, please consider helping our kids and families, who need it the most, to stay supported, connected and engaged with our impactful programs during the COVID 19 crisis.

To make a gift, please visit our COVID-19 donation site. Thank you so very much for your support!

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Dundee Township is one of the largest Boys & Girls Club organizations in the state of Illinois. We serve over 2,000 Club members throughout the year with after school programming, summer programs and athletics leagues at eight community elementary, middle and high schools within District 300 and 220.  Ninety-one percent (91%) of our members live at or below the poverty line. For three hours every day, they receive homework help, tutoring, snack, hot dinner, and participate in enrichment programs. These programs are in the core areas of education and career development, character and leadership, health and life skills, STEM, sports, and fitness, all provided in a fun and enriching environment in which the children thrive.

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