School Supply Drive for Capitol West Boys and Girls Club

Looking for a way to get your kids involved with a service project this summer?  

The Salt Lake Cottage of Big Ocean Women is putting together school kits for the Capitol West Boys and Girls Club and we’d love your help!

So get your kids to pull out their piggy banks or hold a lemonade stand/bake sale or do odd jobs for neighbors to earn some money to donate to help these inner city kids.  

The Capitol West Boys and Girls Club is considered an inner city club, and these kids face some tough issues every day. They come from very poor/low income families where it’s hard for the parents to afford the basic necessities like food and clothes, so being able to get school supplies is low down on the list. Some of the kids stay at the Road Home shelter and are basically homeless. Some of the parents are in jail or prison, on drugs or are alcoholics, and a lot are raised by grandparents or other family members.

The Boys and Girls Club offers them a safe and fun place to go after school where they can get help with homework, do fun activities, and play with other kids. It’s an environment where they can feel safe and loved. With the positivity offered there, it’s a refuge for a short while. In the summer, the kids are there all day long, but that’s good because it keeps them out of trouble they might get in since most are left alone while their parents work because they don’t feel they have any other options.

One child, Sarah (not her real name) an African American, is in 4th grade but is barely able to read and write. Her mom is in prison for molesting her and her brother; her father is not in the picture. Her grandma and about 3 different aunts are raising her, but all of them hang out down by the shelter and do drugs and other illegal activities. She stays in her car most nights, and sometimes when Sarah goes to the club she’s so tired, they just let her sleep. When it comes down to it, the grandma keeps up good appearances so she is able to keep custody of her, but her little life is so hard it breaks everyone’s hearts. Volunteers made sure she had a couple of presents for her birthday and Christmas because her family didn’t even do a cake for her. They did nothing for her.

This is the reality for a lot of the kids there in elementary school. There’s so much to do for them that it’s overwhelming, but those who work at the Club try to take it one step at a time. Maegan Merrill worked there for a while and said that kids were asking her for school supplies the whole time she worked there. They wanted pencils, pens, backpacks, and some of the time she just used her own money to buy things for them. It’s very hard to watch but the hope is that we’ll make a small difference in their lives.

They have helped teens graduate from high school that were failing out. One teen said to Maegan, “I don’t want to go home, my mom’s asleep all the time and my dad doesn’t pay attention to me or help me with my homework but you guys love me here and help me. I’d rather be here.”

Know that anything you can do or contribute is a lot to these kids and will help them out!

There are 4 ways you can help:

  1. Share the story above with your kids and get them involved.  Take your kids to the store (lots of school supply sales happening), and help them purchase items on our list and drop off to one of our cottage members. Text or call 801-891-5776 for an address.
  2. Share this opportunity with your friends.  Post on social media!  Your friends may be looking for something to get involved in. 
  3. Donate cash through paypal to bigoceanwomen@gmail.com. Use the link for family and friends since this is a donation, not a purchase.  Make sure to note that it is for the “school supply drive.” Then we will make a trip to the store to purchase the needed items.
  4. Amazon Wish List: use the list below to purchase something needed and it will be shipped directly to one of our cottage members.  http://a.co/9eYUPgt  
    We are keeping track of donations received in a google spreadsheet.  Find out what we still need by checking in with the link below.  If you purchase an item, please text 801-891-5776 with the details so we can keep the list updated.https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Vyo2GIEDPq4TGq7xsUj9Zt-Ir5c9hvLqgBBMUJt2zQs/edit?usp=sharingWe will be assembling the kits Wednesday August 2, 2017 and would like to have all donations in by July 29th.  Thank you for your participation!

    Remember– Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people can transform the world. -Howard Zinn