A Letter From Our CEO, Pam Estes:
On behalf of our whole organization, from our frontline Youth Development Professionals to our volunteer Board of Directors, we are so grateful to open our doors and serve young people in person once more! Since the pandemic hit, we have remained 100% committed to doing whatever it takes to stay connected to and positively impact our Club members.
The power of our Boys & Girls Club’s purpose grows stronger each day, as does the need for it. Upon closing our doors in March, we quickly pivoted to “opening” our live, interactive Virtual Clubhouse for kids. It was a gift to be able to stay connected with our Club members. Even though these programs are conducted virtually, the relationship we have with each of our Club members is very real. Our Virtual Clubhouse will now be a permanent part of our enrichment opportunities for young people.
Since the initial stay at home order, our BGC Team has been working diligently to ensure the health and safety of those we serve. As we begin in-person programs and welcome back our Club Members, we are aware it will look a little different. Adhering to OC Health Care Agency, State, and CDC guidelines, we have new policies and protocols in place to protect the families we serve, as well as our team members. Your patience and understanding are greatly appreciated as we all get used to a new way of being together. Unfortunately, the number of youth we serve will be reduced and is projected to have higher costs due to COVID-19 guidelines, which include physical distancing, smaller separate “Pods” (groups/cohorts) with higher staff to child ratios, PPE, regular sanitation protocols, etc. We are also aware that as we move forward and more is learned about the virus, guidelines may need to be periodically revised. Please make sure your contact information that we have on file is correct, so you can be apprised as changes are made.
Even so, the core of our work remains the same: to promote the healthy physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of young people to give them an edge in life. Another thing that will remain the same is our great team of caring, trained BGC professionals who are mentoring your children. We are continually training, assessing, and educating our team members to be intentional in how we work with our young people. Using innovative and evidence-based approaches, the youth we serve will develop the skills and attributes that will help them thrive. We know that however our new way of working with kids looks, it will keep them safe, strengthen their resiliency, and be FUN.
In the case of another stay at home order, we will expand our Virtual Clubhouse programming and reach out to find out how we can best support you. We also plan to put together Club Member Connectedness Plans to make sure that regardless of circumstances, the relationship we have with each of our young people can remain strong.
Thank you for entrusting your children in our care. Our young people are our most precious resource and we are here to support them becoming the leaders to a better future for us all!
Please take care of yourselves and each other.
Pamela Estes, CEO
Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach