I have been part of Boys & Girls village both in my role as a member of the board and now as the Chair for over a decade. My work at Norwalk Community College (NCC) from which I am now retired has involved not only teaching young people but mentoring them as all too often they were struggling as to how to take that next step. Being part of this organization allows me to impact the lives of children and adolescents who I know have many steps to go and who need more than the usual help all young people require. My work as a forensic interviewer for children, many who have been abused never lets me forget the struggles that we ask the most helpless and in need amongst us to manage. Hearing the life stories of the children who come to BGV and seeing how they can at times overcome what all of us would see as nearly impossible challenge enriches my own spirit and strengthens my belief in what can be done.
As the staff day to day carry out the mission of BGV, I see my role now as ensuring that those good works continue. An obligation I take very much to heart. In working with Dr. Kant, our CEO, it is clear to me that the challenges grow daily to bring our mission to children and families in need. We have been fortunate under his leadership to lead a thriving and growing organization. We have added many critically needed programs , such as the state’s only residential treatment for youth with so-called problem sexual behavior, one of three alternative to psychiatric hospital for severely ill youth, a therapeutic foster program that provides amazing supports for children on their road to permanence and a series of sophisticated behavioral health programs too numerous to spell out. Even as all of this work has greatly expanded we remain in a precarious position. As Dr. Kant so often reminds us our ability to continue this work in many respects depends on the good will of others. As I write this today, I know that much is changing in the body politic of America and that these changes will surly have impact on the resources we need to continue our work. Ensuring adequate funding has and continues to be a threat to the work we do. Even as public dollars dry up, the pressure for organizations such as Give Greater to help find donors to bridge that gap becomes even more difficult with ‘more mouths to feed.’ Board members are of course volunteers and they too are asked to give in many different ways. Continuing to recruit new board members, to have the kind of skills and background to represent the communities and families we serve remains an elusive goal for me as Chair. In the end we are all about ensuring the longevity of our mission and quality of our work. Community nonprofits now more than ever, with limited resources, must be giving and charitable, sophisticated in their services, business-like in their management and never lose the heart and soul of their purpose. As a member of the board and now as Chair those obligations and opportunities to ‘give back’ are more rewarding than ever, and more precarious. Organizations such as BGV can only exist and thrive if communities, both large and small, truly see them as part of the fabric of their lives. As a board member my challenge is to help make sure I live that opportunity wherever and to whatever degree I can, to bring the board’s voice to our communities, as our voice is really the voice of our children and families at BGV.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
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When families, schools and communities take the view that children and youth are valued and respected assets to society, they necessarily support environments that nurture youth development. Children raised to embrace positive social values, to seek self-understanding, and to value their self-worth grow to become community-minded young adults with a sense of belonging and a belief in their resiliency. See how you can help our community's children grow into tomorrow's leaders.
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