They give them a place to play. They give them a place to call “home.” They give them a future.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland (BGCC) proudly serves more than 8,000 children throughout the Cleveland area, and last month Centric Cleveland was proud to spend time with the kids of BGCC, helping to make a difference – and just having fun!

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Volunteers Omeed Veiseh (organizer), Kindra Helm, Joe Smucny, Matt Dierker, Jansen Meyers, Clay Ruffner, Bonny Lafave, Kevin Bracy, Chaz Braman, Zach Tesler and Barry Petros spent the afternoon learning about the BGCC and playing with the kids, helping with homework and sharing a meal.

Spending an afternoon at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland was a perfect way to end the week, and a reminder of how much good the BGCC does in our community.

Even more, the team forged a bond with kids who need strong role models in their lives – one of the main goals of BGCC. But while the Centric team was there to make a difference for the kids, it was the children who truly moved the adults:

“We left inspired after we spent our time laughing and playing (and sweating) while taking part in a variety of fun activities with dozens of children between the ages of 5 and 18. These are great kids who are so motivated – it was wonderful to see.”

BGCC is open at the times when kids are most vulnerable to getting into trouble — after school, on Saturdays and during the summer. They champion academic success and healthy lifestyles as well as character and citizenship. In addition, they offer special initiatives, including a farm program and a workforce development program.

“The BGCC is not only a fun and safe space for kids to play, but also a center to learn true skills such as graphic design, machine work and urban gardening, to name just a few. I was so proud to be a part of a such a great organization, even if it was only for a day.”

About the BGCC:

BGCC proudly serves more than 8,000 children in seven free-standing Club sites, as well as six school sites and one other site in Cleveland. The organization exists  to provide children who are most in need a safe place to grow, learn and realize their full potential – because they will become tomorrow’s parents, workforce and leaders. With a wide range of programs, BGCC support healthy lifestyles, academic success, character-building and leadership development.