Opinion

Island Forum | Boys & Girls Club going paperless to bring in the green for kids

It is never a good time to call and ask for money. Disaster relief, political campaigns, school levies, property taxes and margin calls all impact our personal finances. That is why this year in the spirit of hope and change, the Mercer Island Boys & Girls Club is going to change how it conducts the annual phone-a-thon and go green.

We are going to e-mail you for money instead. There is doubt within the club organization as to whether this approach will be successful, but I believe that it will be, and I hope all of you will help prove the value and validity of this fundraising model.

In this online, always connected world, the club is trying to adapt its ways and be respectful of family time and intrusion during the dinner hour. This annual fund-raiser is critical to the club’s operating budget and performance goals. This year’s goal is to raise $75,000. This money goes to pay all the typical operating expenses of the club.

The club’s main focus is on programming for children ages 5-18 in five core areas:

• Leadership and character development

• Education and career development

• Health and life skills

• The arts

• Sports and recreation

Our mission is “to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.” We believe that within every child there is the potential for greatness. One child may excel academically, while another finds their confidence in the arts or sports. Our goal is to help unlock that potential in every child.

As somebody who grew up in the club and has coached in it for many years, I strongly believe that the club is very successful in this mission. Kids whom I coached at 8 years old are now productive, taxpaying citizens and have themselves returned to the club as volunteer coaches. That, by my definition, is the ultimate in renewable energy.

When it comes to the energy of personal giving, there is no shortage of good and important causes. I would like to make the case that the reason you give to MIBGC is that it meets the standard of sustainability and connectivity. The club is the largest, most important single point of connection for kids and families on this Island and a renewable resource. Currently, more than 70 percent of kids on the Island participate in a club program. The relationships and skills that result from this connection serve to either establish or enhance the foundation of this community that we care so much about.

Please take a minute to go online to www.mi.positiveplace.org and click on the box and donate today. Help us go green — otherwise, we will have to call you, and that would be a true waste of energy.

Greg Steinhauer is a board member of the Mercer Island Boys & Girls Club.

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