Clubs Respond To Hurricane Irma By Opening Doors For Youth

A few weeks ago, South Florida experienced destructive winds as Hurricane Irma passed over the State, causing millions to lose power and widespread damage to homes and businesses.  Many of our member families were affected, left without power, unable to work and in some cases lost just about everything.  Though several Clubs sustained damage and power outages, Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County (BGCBC) staff and maintenance crews mobilized quickly and efficiently to get the Clubs back into condition to open for our Club members.

BGCBC is proud to have opened 11 of our 12 Clubs for operation on Thursday, September 14th, just 2 1/2 days after the hurricane curfew was lifted by Broward County Government. BGCBC also opened that Saturday for members as well, a week ahead of the scheduled start of the Saturday Program (Many thanks to the Jim Moran Foundation).  Opening our doors allowed hundreds of children to receive a snack and hot meal and return to a sense of “normalcy” through socializing with friends and staff.

We are proud to share the impact we made on our youth and their families during these three days when no power or food in some cases were not available to our youth.

  1.  A total of 1,687 members found their way to their club to receive some relief from the aftermath of Irma.
  2. As a total group, our children spent 9,208 hours in our facilities safe from the devastation impacting their lives.
  3. A total of 2,764 snacks and hot meals were served to our children during their time at our clubs.
  4. A total of 190 cases of water were distributed to our clubs which represents 4,560 bottles of water made available to our children.

We would like to say thank you again to our community partners who supported us, notably the United Way of Broward, Broward EOC, National Guard (for delivering cases of water), FPL, County Commissioners Chip LaMarca, Dale Holness , City Manager of Lauderhill, Charles Faranda , Jack Brady Mayor of North Lauderdale, Hands On Broward , and The Jim Moran Foundation.

I would be remiss not to thank our dedicated staff who answered the call to serve our children.  We not only followed our disaster plan, but received a few breaks along the way to open our facilities.

It is, without a doubt, because of supporters like you and others throughout the community that we were able to quickly react quickly.  Like many of you, BGCBC is now repairing our facilities due to the wrath of Irma, yet we were very fortunate compared to others impacted by the storm.


Brian Quail