BGCCF Update | June 19, 2020
JUNETEENTH: A DAY FOR HOPE
June 19, 2020

No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, I suspect that like me, the last few weeks have left you feeling bereft and somewhat helpless. It’s undeniable: there is great division in our country, and most black people, in addition to feeling persecuted by our justice system, feel disenfranchised and lacking in opportunity.

There is ample empirical evidence to justify their frustration. Consider the following statistics as they pertain to a child born into a low-income black family:

  • Disparities in education: Two-thirds of black students still attend schools that are mostly minority, typically located in central cities and funded well below their suburban counterparts. In fact, the wealthiest 10 percent of U.S. school districts spend almost 10 times more than the poorest 10 percent. (Source: Brookings Institution

  • Disparities in wealth: Black workers earn, on average, about 60 percent of what whites make. (Source: U. S. Census Bureau). In 2016, the median net worth for black families was $17,600 compared with white families’ median wealth of $171,000. (Source: The Federal Reserve)

  • Disparities in health care: The National Academy of Medicine documented in a 2017 study that racial and ethnic minorities receive significantly lower-quality health care than white people—even when insurance status, income, age, and severity of conditions are comparable. The uninsured rate among African Americans was 9.7 percent, while it was just 5.4 percent among whites. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau)
 
  • Disparities in incarceration: According to the Sentencing Project, 1 in 3 black men is likely to spend time in prison in their lifetime, as compared to 1 in 17 white men. If African Americans and Hispanics were incarcerated at the same rates as whites, prison and jail populations would decline by almost 40%.

Confronted with these odds, how would you feel as the parent of a young black child in today’s society? 

In the short term, we must put an end to incidents of police brutality. But I believe that real and lasting change in our society will only come about if we tackle the inequality of opportunity, and resulting poverty, that black children are born into in America.

And here’s where we come to the hopeful part of my letter: this is precisely what we’re doing every day at Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, and precisely what you’re doing by supporting us. Consider these encouraging facts:
We’re serving the children who need us most:
Last year, we served more than 7,000 black children in our Clubs; nearly 80% of the families served by our traditional Clubs earn a household income of less than $40,000 per year. Our Clubs are located in neighborhoods that rank, on average, at the 9th percentile for household income and the 82nd percentile for incarceration. (Source Opportunity Atlas)
We’re helping children get healthier:
Every day at our Clubs, children disconnect from screens to play basketball and learn ballet, and to participate in time-tested educational programs on health and nutrition. Last year, over 74% of our Club members exercised at least 3 days per week.
We’re helping children become good citizens:
Through our programs like Smart Girls, Passport to Manhood, and Keystone Club, our Club members learn the value of volunteering and civic engagement. More than 94% of our Club members considered themselves leaders, and our members refrained from sexual activity, smoking and drinking at a higher rate than their peers.
We’re closing the educational opportunity gap:
Again this year, 100% (you read that right) of our high school seniors are graduating, compared to a nationwide graduation rate of 79% for black students. All of them have plans for the future and 88% will attend college or join the US Military next year. Many will attend college on full scholarships, facilitated by BGCCF.
Today is June 19th, or “Juneteenth,” an annual holiday commemorating the end of slavery in America. This evening, our Levy-Hughes Branch in the historic African-American neighborhood of Parramore will mark the occasion with the best kind of celebration: nine of the Club’s members graduate from high school this month, and all have future education or employment plans. We’ll honor them with a parade and ceremony at the Wells'Built Museum to mark this important milestone.

It’s a rare individual who will bring about sweeping, worldwide change on their own. But Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida is changing the world for the black children we serve, bringing them the kind of freedom that only good health, quality education, and strong moral character will provide. 

For me, and I hope for you, this is reason to celebrate, and to feel empowered.

Happy Juneteenth.
Gary Cain
President & CEO
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida
Deepest gratitude to the following generous donors who have already joined our Club Heroes campaign. You are ensuring that our organization, and our families, stay strong through this crisis, and that we will emerge with renewed purpose to create great futures for our Club members!
$25,000 +
$10,000 +
Phillip & Jennifer Anderson
Anonymous
Atlantic Culvert Company, Inc.
Kim & Brian Beattie
The Cocoa Rotary Foundation, Inc.
Ray & Lydia DiSanza
The Rick & Susan Goings Foundation
Hans & Cay Jacobsen Foundation
Heathrow Women's Club Charities Inc.
Drew & Paula Madsen
Space Coast Realtors Charitable Foundation
Jim & Jonnie Swann
$5,000 +
Altria
Anonymous
Brian Baker
Chepenik Financial
Dennis & Andrea Donohue
The Duke Energy Foundation
Mark & Maureen Filburn – Providence Construction, LLC
GolfNow
Kevin & Denise Habicht
David & Linda Hughes
Humana
IDEX Foundation
Investor's Edge LLC
JetBlue
Thomas & Linda Jones
Junebug Foundation, Inc.
The Kaltbaum Family
Michael & Christine Kirchner
Jonathan Ledden
Office Depot
Pat Robertson
N. Christine Sylvester
Winter Park Health Foundation
$1,000 +
Steven & Jean Allender
AIT Engineering
Steve & Patty Appel
Glenn & Wendy Beck
Kathleen Benham
David & Lyn Berelsman
Tom & Ann Brooks
Wes & Paula Brumback
Keith & Lila Buescher
Gary & Louise Cain
John & Dede Caron
CCH Marketing & Events, Inc.
Derrick Chandler
Jeffrey & Cheryl Chudnow
James & Allison Clark
Jeffrey & Debra Condello
Courtenay Animal Hospital
Vivek & Tejal Desai
Les & Jill Eiserman
Equity Partners, Inc.
Jim & Jennifer Etscorn
FAME Group, Inc.
Jennifer Ferguson
Robert & Mary Frantz
Ryan Frazier
Georgianna United Methodist Church
Graff Holdings
Craig Howell
Aaron Gray
Dr. Nathan Hill
Kevin R. Hill & Nicholas F. Farinella
Jack & Jill of America Inc. - Orlando Chapter
Esther Johnston
Garrett & Laura Jones
Kelly Family Cuidiu Foundation
Steve & Judith Kirby
Barb & Stephen Larson
Scott & Ginny Lyden
Paul & Stacey Manos
Kyle Maryanski & Patti Tuey-Maryanski
J. Cheney & Shirley Mason
Richard & Jane Mercadante
Steve & Cheryl Miller
Mike & Marybeth Morsberger
Dzi-Long Newman
Nextera Enery Foundation, Inc
OUC- The Reliable One
Wayne & Monique Randall
Charles & Shanda Redding
Renaissance Charitable Foundation
Ed Rone
The Rotary Club of Lake Mary
The Rotary Club of Winter Park
Russ & Mazie Salerno
Scan Design
Shutts & Bowen LLP
Sidhu Family Foundation Inc.
SIMS Crane & Equipment Co.
Laurie, Marc, Jason, and Jake Smith
James Stroz
Thermo King of the Southeast
The Villages Theater Company
Stan & Kim Van Gundy
T. Picton Warlow IV
$500 +
Allender & Allender, P.A.
Jennifer Ashton
Camelot Properties Referral Group, LLC
Bryan Campbell
Isabela Castro
Nancy Conicella
Kristin Davis
Phillip C. DeLong
Donovan Homes LLC
Duke Energy Florida, LLC
Dr. Steven & Suzanne Dukes
Michael & Layne Fess
Cami C. Leech Florio
Marti Forknervernon
James & Jean Gallagher
Lamont & Lynda Garber
Generator Consulting Service, LLC
Peggy & Dennis Huff
Clark Keator
Jason & Krista Kirk
Allison Krueger
Les Choux Company
Beverly Madison
Drew & Paula Madsen
Diane & John Mahony
Nathan & Ashley Male
William & Rebecca Manuel
Christopher Pirolo
Carol Platt
Poulos & Bennett
Dale & Sherley Russell
William & Ann Schooley
Star Distributions Systems
Tough As Nails LLC
Walmart
Wilhelm Construction
Joyce & Martin Zeluck
$250 +
Charla Albury
Christyne Albury
Ramond Anderson
Jay Baker
Brasfield & Gorrie LLC
Nick Brown
Stephen Burns
Kathy Burt
Robert & Caroline Buster
Chad & Elizabeth Cain
Kathleen Callaghan
Alice & David Christner
Circuit Breaker Sales
Randle Clay
Amber Clore
Robert Cornell
D1 Orlando
Daniel & Sheila DeCiccio
Clara Ewing
Rosanne Firriolo
Stephen Forte
George Ganzenmuller
Nicholas Geinosky
Kyron Harold
David Hicks
Russ Hill
Sue Hoeksema
International Title and Escrow Co, LLC
William Jack & Delia Sutton Jack
Sarah Johnston
Derek & Luan Jones
Kavaliro Staffing Services
Keepsake Floral, Inc.
Ken Keesee
Tim Lambert
Angie Langley
Wendy Maher
Mechanical Dynamics & Analysis
Morgan Sports Group
Bruce & Shayla Mount
John & Sandra Race
Ashley & Baron Robertson
Marilyn Ross Smith
Steven & Jennifer Sabga
Greg & Rita Schroeder
Fiona Shannon
Phillip Smith
Josh & Heather Truitt
Daniel & Heidi Velasquez
Donald Wagner
John & Betsey West
Lena & Craig Williams
Libby Wingard
Terrence Young, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church
Donald & Joy Zervitz
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida
The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. At our 36 Clubs, we provide a safe and nurturing Club experience every day after school, and all summer long, for more than 16,000 children.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida | www.bgccf.org