Boys & Girls Clubs leaders say grant funding harder to find - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Boys & Girls Clubs leaders say grant funding harder to find

“Many kids or neglected to turn to the streets. And with the Boys & Girls Clubs being here to help them, I think it is important for them to come if they have nothing else to do,” said one teen club member. (Photo source: WLOX) “Many kids or neglected to turn to the streets. And with the Boys & Girls Clubs being here to help them, I think it is important for them to come if they have nothing else to do,” said one teen club member. (Photo source: WLOX)
JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

A non-profit dedicated to providing a safe haven for hundreds of kids year around is now fighting for funding in order to continue offering valuable services. The leaders of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Jackson County are now calling on South Mississippians to invest in the future generation.

Parent Richard Muhammad’s four kids grew up attending the Boys & Girls Clubs of Jackson County. He said the positive environment and educational investment each of his children received made a lasting impact in their lives.

“It has structured my children, gave them somewhere positive to go, gave them ideas to what they want to be and what they plan to be in the future,” said Muhammad.

His daughter, Haajarah, has the same opinion. She's a member of the Gautier Unit.

“Many kids or neglected to turn to the streets. And with the Boys & Girls Clubs being here to help them, I think it is important for them to come if they have nothing else to do,” said the teen club member.

The non-profit has three units and one outreach center in the county. Chief Financial Officer Catherine Glaude said lately money has been tight and that's made it difficult to accept new kids, hire more staff, and provide extra activities.

“Five years ago, I would say we had maybe $350,000 in grants, and now I am down to probably about $150,000 that I am receiving in grants. It is like half of what we use to get. Now we are not able to serve those thousand kids anymore, I am having to stop. We have a limit of children that we serve between 650 and 700,” said Glaude.

Glaude, the staff, and parents are now appealing to South Mississippians and businesses to give their time and money to help keep the program going because it's making a difference in the kids' lives.

“We are here to help the school district, the parents, and the churches to build our children to be positive citizens, so let's invest in our youth,” said Glaude.

The non-profit is hosting a Steak & Steak fundraiser Thursday at 6pm at the Jackson County Civic Center in Pascagoula. The tickets are $75 and a table costs $550. For more information on the event or how you can help, call The Boys & Girls Clubs' Main office at (228) 762-3497.

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