MONROE, LA (7/15/20)– The Boys and Girls Club of North Louisiana have had their doors closed since March 13th, but the invisible virus hasn’t stopped them from making a difference in multiple communities across North Louisiana. Addressing food insecurity was one of the biggest objectives of the Boys & Girls Club during the pandemic. Thanks to Bridgestone, the club’s partners since 2015, presented the club with a new van, back in 2018, to help transport kids safely…but during the pandemic the club got creative.
“So having these vehicles and avenues when the pandemic hit, we were able to take the meals basically to the kids. We were going out to the neighborhoods at strategic locations,” said Eldonta Osborne, Executive director of Boys and Girls Club of North Louisiana.
The support continued, Bridgestone donated $840,000 to support COVID-19 relief efforts at Boys & Girls Clubs across the country. The relief fund helped provide food, a low tech virtual program, and most importantly to maintain part-time staff to keep relationships with the kids at North Louisiana clubs.
“Where twice a week we would just call the kids just to say hi, see how they are doing, asking how their low tech packages were coming along, and just trying to keep that connection,” said Osborne.
Reminding the community of the number of kids who rely on the Boys and Girls Club in North Louisiana.
“We created the COVID 19 fund as a pivot and since then we have been able to deliver over 500 meals a day in north Louisiana. We also delivered over 150 academic packets for the kids while they are at home,” said Cole Willfore, Region Manager for Bridgestone.
The Boys and Girls Club of North Louisiana is planning on re-opening when school starts back. Each club will adjust depending on local school systems. As the clubs start opening back up, the number of kids and volunteers inside will be limited. However, the community can still help by donating proper protective equipment and cleaning supplies as these are not expenses they usually have to worry about.