At the beginning of the political primaries, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula are in the middle of their own Campaign for Kids.
Through Aug. 31, the clubs in Sequim and Port Angeles are trying to raise $80,000 for operations and activities.
Last year, the organization almost fell short of its goal until it revealed it needed $20,000. Community support quickly came in. However, the clubs' largest fundraiser, the annual auction last November, initially reported it made about $152,000 of its $200,000 goal, leading organizers to revamp the event for this year.
So far they've raised about $20,000 since their April 7 Spring Fling and kick-off.
Karen Rogers, chairman of this year's campaign, said they're consistently seeing their needs increase in the clubs, too.
“The annual report in 2011 showed 305 children attending the two clubs daily and a poll in May showed 341 were attending,” Rogers said.
“The $30 annual membership actually costs the club about $750 per year per student. This validates that a need is growing.”
When asked what makes this year's campaign different, Rogers, who works in business development, said she's dedicated to the campaign and is fortunate to be engaged in the community already.
“I'm in summer school for the Boys & Girls Club,” Rogers said.
One of her goals is to approach all of the service clubs to ask for donations and/or speak to their groups.
Janet Gray, resources development director for the clubs, said staff members are part of a diverse number of groups and they want to become more intentional in reaching out.
Traditionally, donors give through pledges in the mail.
This year, the organization has added donations to its new website, www.bgc-op.org.
They've also created a new application for smart phones so that people can access information about the clubs and donate.
Gray said people need to search “boys & girls club” and look for the local clubs. Pledges, drop-off donations and mailings will continue.
Gray said some donors are splitting up their donations to be monthly rather than one-time payments.
“Instead of someone giving $1,000 one-time giving, maybe commit to break it up into $100 a month,” she said.
Rogers said she'd even pick up checks if needed.
“This (club) helps the littlest ones finds the balance in their life,” she said. “It meets a huge need in this community.”
The clubs will continue their annual Phone-A-Thon event, calling for donations from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25.
“These are tough times and we're humbly asking if you've never donated before, to give to the club,” Rogers said.
Campaign for Kids met its goal in 2010 and 2011.
Contact the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula, 400 W. Fir St., at 683-8095.
The Sequim Gazette is located at 147 W. Washington Street in Sequim.
Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Phone 360-683-3311, or toll free at 800-829-5810. FAX 360-683-6670.
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