Borgata is proud to support the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City during our 12 Days of Giving. The Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City strives to achieve excellence as a youth service organization, encompassing their core beliefs: to provide young people with life-enhancing programs, character development opportunities, and ongoing relationships with caring adult professionals. The Club is also home to the MGM Resorts International Teen Center for Economic Youth Development and College Readiness. We talked with Renate Taylor, the Center’s Chief
Development Officer, about the impact of Boys & Girls Club in the South Jersey community.
Give us a broad overview of what your organization does and how it helps the public?
The Boys & Girls Club serves over 1,300 youth across the 48 blocks of Atlantic City. BGCAC is currently open for full day services (8am to 8pm), providing the children of Atlantic City with a safe haven while the Atlantic City School District offers virtual learning, due to COVID-19. The Drexel and Chelsea Clubs are open for before-school care, then from 8:30am to 2pm, individual learning spaces and academic support are provided, helping children to participate in their virtual curriculum. During school breaks, children are provided snacks, meals and opportunities for outdoor recreation and mentoring with our staff. Our Teen Center continues to provide after school programming (3pm to 8pm), focusing on workforce development and our three career pathways: STEAM, Hospitality and Healthcare. The Teen Center also provides snacks and warm meals, as well as mentoring, homework help, academic enrichment, STEAM education, and social recreation activities such as Music & Video Recording, and Esports.
How has the current Covid health crisis impacted those that rely on your organization for support?
Support from our community has been utilized to continue our strict sanitation efforts needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, keeping our Club Kids, and staff, safe and healthy during this difficult time. Clearly, we did not budget for the financial impact of COVID-19 compliance, which has stretched our budget to its limits. We are actively purchasing hand sanitizers, and PPE materials, in addition to the implementation of nightly deep cleaning of all three clubs each evening. Also, the Club was previously an afterschool program open from 3 until 8pm. We are now open 8am to 8pm, providing a space for children to attend virtual school with support from our staff, along with snacks, meals and recreational time.
In addition to a $5,000 donation supporting the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City’s Holiday Heroes Giving Campaign, Borgata team members volunteered to wrap all gifts purchased off the Club’s Amazon Wishlist by the local community, as well as sewed 160 face masks for the Club’s students.
How will Borgata’s current holiday gift help you serve your constituents?
Borgata’s gift will help support our COVID-19 compliance efforts, as well as help support our full–day care efforts, ensuring that any child in need has access to a safe learning environment, and warm, nutritious meals.
For those who are reading about your organization and want to help, what can they do or donate? What would be the most useful?
We need of financial donations which will ensure we hit our goal of raising $200,000 to help fill the unseen gap in funding due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More information can be found at www.acbgc.org/donate/
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
BGCAC has a long tradition of celebrating the multicultural diversity of Atlantic City. Our children speak 26 different languages and celebrate 26 different cultures across the 48 blocks!