Despite its doors closing due to the pandemic, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse has continued its mission of meeting kids’ needs.
However, COVID-19 also canceled several funding opportunities for the non-profit.
“We’ve had several events that have been canceled– a golf outing, a summer event, the Big Blue Dragon Boat festival with Mayo has been canceled,” said Jake Erickson, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse executive director. “So, for us it’s about $200,000 in development activities that won’t take place.”
The club says thankfully the community has consistently looked for ways to help recover some of the lost funding.
“It seems like almost on a weekly basis somebody new is stepping up and saying ‘I want to help. I want to get involved.’ It’s been really exciting for us,” Erickson said.
One company that stepped forward to raise funds for the Boys and Girls Club was Root Down Yoga which held a virtual yoga class for donations.
“It’s an at-the-person’s option donation class,” said Nick Roush, a Root Down Yoga co-owner. “100 percent of the proceeds go towards the chosen charity and people can donate anywhere from $5 for the class to $50 for the class. Over the course of the two classes that we did combined for the BGC we raised $2,940.”
The Boys and Girls Club says Root Down’s initiative started a ripple effect, with several other companies getting creative to help raise funds–leading to the new ‘Here For Kids’ campaign.
“Whenever it comes to anything that’s charitable every little bit makes a difference. So, whether you can donate $5 to a cause or $5,000 to a cause it’s all those things that add up to make a huge, huge difference,” Roush said.
The campaign encourages creative ideas to raise money for the clubs, something the staff has been doing to deliver programming virtually as well.
Staff also started a ‘Supper Club’ to deliver seven meals a week to members in need during the Safer-at-Home order.
“We’re actually at 12,000 meals delivered to date and in the month of May it will be 10,000 meals itself,” Erickson said.
The meals are one thing the ‘Here For Kids’ campaign helps fund.
The club says it hopes to have its doors open again by summer.
To donate to the ‘Here For Kids’ campaign, click here.